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Changing Strategies Of Treatment Of Hypertension

Dr Sunita Dodani
Family Medicine Department The Aga Khan University Karachi, Pakistan

Objectives: At the end of this presentation, we should be able to:

Learn about recent guidelines of hypertension management. Define hypertension by the JNC-VI guidelines. Discuss the management steps recommended by JNC VI. Define the providers role in patient compliance. Controversies of stepped care therapy.

New Guidelines:

Joint National Committee (JNC) sixth report on prevention, detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure (JNC-VI) - 1997. WHO/International Society of Hypertension (ISH), Guidelines of Hypertension Management for Primary Care Physicians - 1999. British Hypertension Society Guidelines for Hypertension Management - 1999. Local: First report of National Task Force on Hypertension, Pakistan Hypertension League - 1998.

JNC-VI Guidelines: (Drawn from consensus and

evidence - based findings)

Discuss hypertension treatment in stepwise-manner. Cover treatment strategies in special population like Black Americans, pregnancy and patients with co-morbid conditions.

Normal pressure into 3 categories.

Abnormal pressure into 3 stages for adults > 18 and older.

Classification of Blood Pressure for Adults Age 18 and Olders:

Category Systolic (mm Hg) Diastolic (mm Hg)
and <80 and <85 or 85-89
or or or 90-99 100-109 > 110

Optimal <120 Normal <130 High-normal 130-139 Hypertension

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 140-159 160-179 > 180

Changing Strategies Of Treatment Of Hypertension (Contd)

Elevated BP (>140/90) on 2 or more visits with BP taken 2 or more times on each visit and then averaged. Seated in a chair with arm supported at heart level. Must not smoke or drink caffeine for 30 minutes prior to measuring the BP. Cuff size should encircle 80% of the patients arm.

Changing Strategies Of Treatment Of Hypertension (Contd)

BP measurements should be attempted only after 5 minutes of rest. BP should be at least 2 minutes apart, averaged, and then repeated if 2 measurements differ by more than 5 mmHg. Anxious patient may falsely give high reading (white coat hypertension).

Changing Strategies Of Treatment Of Hypertension(Contd)

BP rises in most people as they age, BP is not considered a normal part of aging. Isolated systolic hypertension is considered in patients with systolic BP >140 mmHg and diastolic BP <90 mmHg

Three-pronged approach:

Lifestyle modifications.
Appropriate medications (based on the patients demographic and medical profile). Professional health care support to foster compliance.

Life Style Modification:


modifications for all stages of hypertension and are the initial recommendations for both high normal and stage 1 hypertension.

Life Style Modifications (Contd):


reduction also cholesterol and DM

with abdominal obesity


waist size >34 cms Females >39 cms Males Hypertension risk




minutes at 40% - 60% of maximal activity determined by pulse rate (220 - age x 0.4 & 0.6).

Changing Strategies Of Treatment Of Hypertension (Contd)

DASH: Dietary approaches to stop


Like DM diet, DASH diet includes a specific number of servings and the weight of servings. Unlike DM Diet, DASH diet does not offer the option of food exchanges. Plant food sources Only 2 - 3 animal protein servings/day

Changing Strategies Of Treatment Of Hypertension (Contd)

in Dietary sodium. Esp. for African Americans Elderly DM 75 meq/day of dietary sodium or less ( 5 mmHg systolic & 2.6 mm diastolic). Cessation of smoking. alcohol intake.
< 10 oz wine < 2 oz whisky < 24 oz beer

Initial Drug Therapy:

Step-wise approach:
1. First line - Diuretic or -blocker. 2. New agents - Ca channel blocker, ACE inhibitor, vasodilator etc. should be considered if patient is not responsive to initial therapy or has co-morbid conditions. 3. Adrenergic agents should only be used as a last choice b/c of their side effect profile.

Choosing the right medication for your patient: Choice of the treatment regimen depends on:
Degree of BP elevation. Number of associated & concurrent risk factors. Presence of TOD. Clinical CVD or associated clinical conditions (ACC).

Risk Stratification:
Risk Factors for
Cardiovascular Diseases Target Organ Damage Associated Clinical


1. Used for risk stratification :

Levels of systolic and diastolic BP (Stages 1-3) Men > 55 years Women > 65 years Smoking Total Cholestrol > 6.5 mmol/L Diabetes FH of premature CVD

LVH (ECG, Echo, XR)

Conditions (ACC) Cerebrovascular Disease

Proteinuria & / or slight Ischemic stroke Cerebral hemorhage elevation of plasma Transient ischemic attack creatinine 1 . 2 2 mg/dl (106- 177 mmol/L)

Heart Disease:

Ultrasound or radiological evidence of atherosclerotic plaques (carotid, illiac & f emoral arteries, aorta)

Myocardial Infarction Angina Pectoris Coronary revascularization Congestive Heart failure

Cardiovascular Diseases
adversely influencing the prognosis
Reduced HDL Raised LDL Microalbuminuria in diabetes Impaired GTT Obesity Sedentary life style Raised fibrinogen High risk socioeconomic & ethnic group High risk geographic region

Risk Factors For

Risk Stratification (Contd):

Target Organ Damage

2. Other factors

Associated Clinical Conditions (ACC)

Diabetic nephropathy

Renal Diseases:

Generalized or focal narrowing of the retinal arteries ( retinopathy)

Dosage & Combination Therapy

Single daily dose interval of 4 - 6 weeks to observe the full response, unless it is necessary to lower BP more urgently. If drug well tolerated but response is small, the dose or add drugs stepwise until BP control is attained. Treatment can be stepped down later if BP falls substantially below the optimal level. Most hypertensives require a combinations of antihypertensive therapy to achieve optimal control.

Dosage & Combination Therapy (Contd):

Drugs from different classes generally have additive effect on BP. Submaximal doses of 2 drugs results in larger response of BP & fewer side effects eg: Diuretic + B-blocker Diuretic + ACE inhibitor Ca-channel blocker + ACE inhibitor Fixed dose combination may be convenient and are acceptable when monotherapy is ineffective

Dosage & Combination Therapy



1. Initial drug therapy: Diuretics Ca channel blockers

Specific Medication Recommendations For Concurrent Medical Problems:

Concurrent Recommended Intermediate Usually Not Conditions/ Drug Therapy Drug Therapy Used or ContraCharactersticks indicated Medications
Diabetes with proteinuria ACE Inhibitors Ca antagonists (both types)

ACE Inhibitors Diuretics with care Angiotensin B Blockers Receptor Blockers B Blockers Ca Antagonists

ACE Inhibitors Diuretics Carvadilol Losartin Isolated Systolic Diuretics Hypertension Ca Antagonists (non-DHP central effects), long acting forms Heart Failure

ACE Inhibitors B Blockers Angiotensin Receptor Blockers

Specific Medication Recommendations For Concurrent Medical Problems:

Concurrent Recommended Conditions/ Drug Therapy Characteristics Myocardial Infarction B Blockers (non-ISA) ACE Inhibitors; reduce mortality after MI Intermediate Drug Therapy Diuretics ACE Inhibitors Receptor Blockers Non DHP,CaAntagonists, (Diltiazem, Verapamil) Usually Not Contraindicated DHP Ca Antagonists eg nifedipine (immediate release can worsen myocardial ischemia)

Diuretics Angiotensin B Blockers African American race Calcium Antagonists Receptor Blockers ACE Inhibitors (both types) Atrial Tachycardia/ Fibrillation
B Blockers Ca Antagonists (Both Types) Diuretics ACE Inhibitors Angiotensin. Receptor Blockers

Specific Medication Recommendations For Concurrent Medical Problems:

Concurrent Conditions/ Characteristics Angina Recommended Drug Therapy B Blockers Ca Antagonists (both types) Intermediate Drug Therapy Diuretics ACE Inhibitors Angiotensin Receptor Blockers Usually Not Used or Contraindicated Medications

Diabetes Mellitus

Low dose diuretics ACE Inhibitors B Blockers (careful Receptor Blockers monitoring) Ca antagonists (both types) Angiotensin ACE Inhibitors B Blockers Receptor Blockers Ca Antagonists (both types) Diuretics with care


Specific Medication Recommendations For Concurrent Medical Problems (Contd):

Concurrent Conditions/ Characteristics
Essential or senile tremors

Recommended Drug Therapy


Intermediate Drug Therapy

ACE Inhibitors Receptor Blocker Ca Antagonists Diuretics

Usually not used Contraindicated Medications

Hyperthyroidism BBlockers Migraine B Blockers (Non Diuretics ISA) ACE Inhibitors Calcium Receptor Blocker Antagonist DHP Calcium (non DHP) Antagonists

Specific Medication Recommendations For Concurrent Medical Problems (Contd):

Concurrent Recommended Intermediate Usually Not Conditions/ Used/ Drug Therapy Drug Contraindicated Characteristics Therapy Medications Osteoporosis Thiazides Pre-operative Hypertension Prostatism BBlockers

Diuretics Angiotensin ACE Inhibitors Receptor Blockers ( cant be given with severe renal impairment) Angiotensin Renal B Blockers Receptor Insufficiency Blockers Ca Antagonists
(both types)

WHO/ISH Guidelines for Hypertension Management Summary Points:

Use of Grades rather than stages, otherwise values choosen are same as JNC-VI. Mild, moderate and severe are not used in the WHO-ISH guidelines - they correspond to grades 1,2 & 3. Term borderline hypertension is subgroup of Grade 1 i.e. Systolic 140-149 Diastolic 90-94

British Hypertension Society Guidelines for Hypertension Management:

Summary Points:

Grades rather than stages are used to classify hypertension. Uses coronary heart disease risk accessors or risk charts. Isolated systolic hypertension defined as systolic > 160 and diastolic < 90. Use of aspirin (primary prevention ) in hypertension patients. Use of statins in patients with hypertension.

Indications for specialist referral:

Urgent treatment indicated: Malignant

hypertension, impending complications. To investigate potential underlying causes of hypertension when initial evaluation suggests this possibility. To evaluate therapeutic problems or failures. Special circumstances: Unusually variable blood pressure, possible white coat hypertension, pregnancy.


New guidelines like JNC-VI, unlike previous guidelines, has introduced the concept of aggressive blood pressure control at optimal levels. For elderly patients , the achievement of at least 140/90 mm Hg or below blood pressure is acceptable. Life style modification alone for those patients at relatively low overall risk for cardiovascular diseases and with drugs for those at higher risk.

Conclusion: (Contd)

Diuretics or B-blockers for those as first choice with uncomplicated hypertension. ACE inhibitors for Diabetic patients with proteinuria. ACE inhibitors &/ 0r diuretics for patients with heart failure & systolic dysfunction. Long-acting dihydropyridine Ca antagonist for systolic hypertension in the elderly. Follow-up during evaluation & stabilization of treatment should be frequent to monitor BP and other risk factors. Follow-up is important to establish good relationship with patient and to educate the patient.

Figure 1: Stepped Care Algorithm for treatment of Hypertension:

Life style modification,Reduce wt Quit smoking,Regular exc. , Decrease sodium and alcohol Inadequate response Continue lifestyle modification,Initiate pharmacotherapy Inadequate response Increase daily dose Substitute another drug Inadequate response

Add 2nd drug from diff.class

Add 2nd or 3rd Drug

Inadeq, response


Changing Strategies
Of Treatment Of Hypertension (Contd)

JNC-VI uses a lower goal BP (<140/90 mmHg) for hypertension in the elderly.

Changing Strategies Diuretics: Of Treatment Of Hypertension (Contd) plasma volume. cause peripheral vasodilation. potentiate the effect of other anti-hypertensive drugs. Caution: Renal disease , Gout, DM, Dyslipidemia. Start low dose.

1 selective : start low dose & gradually-increase. Should not be used in COPD, CHF or left ventricular function.

ACE inhibitors:
DM with proteinuria. CHF or myocardial infarction.

Stratifying risk and quantifying prognosis:

Other risk factors and / or CVD
1. No other risk factors

Blood Pressure (mm Hg)

Stage 1 SBP 140 - 159 DBP 90 - 99
Low risk

Stage 2 SBP 160 - 179 DBP 100 - 109

Medium risk Medium risk High risk

Stage 3 SBP > 180 DBP > 110

High risk v. High risk v. High risk

2. 1 - 2 risk factors Medium risk 3. 3 or more risk High risk factors or diabetes or TOD 4. ACC v. High risk

v. High risk

v.High risk

Which Drug treatment should be used?

Class of Compelling Indications Drug
Diuretics Heart failure Elderly Systolic Hypertension

Compelling Possible Possible ContraIndications contraindications indications

Diabetes Gout

Dyslipidemias Sexually active males

B Blockers

Angina Post

MI Tachyarrythmias

Heart failure Pregnancy Diabetes

Asthma COPD Heart Blocks

Dyslipidemia Athletes Physically active patients Peripheral vascular. disease

Which Drug treatment should be used

Class of Drug ACE Inhibitors
Compelling Indications Possible Indications Compelling contraindications Possible Contraindications


Heart Failure LV. Dysfunction After MI Diabetic nephropathy

Pregnancy Bilateral Renal artery Stenosis Hyperkalemia Heart Blocks

Angina Elderly Systolic Hypertension

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Congestive Heart Failure

Which Drug treatment should be used

Class of Drug
Alpha Blockers Compelling Possible Indiacations indications Compelling contraindications Possible Contraindications
Orthostatic hypotension

Prostrate Hypertrophy


Intolerance Dyslipidemias

Angiotensin II Antagonists

Side Effects Heart Failure with other drugs e.g. ACE inhibitors (cough)

Pregnancy Bilateral Renal artery Stenosis Hyperkalemia Heart Blocks


BMJ 1999 Sep 4; 319:630- 635 - British Hypertension Society guidelines for Hypertension management 1999; Summary NEW: 9 - 13 Editorial - British guidelines on managing hypertension World Health Organization- International Society of Hypertension - 1999 WHO-ISH Guidelines for the management of Hypertension - Journal of Hypertension (see on line articles, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 151 - 183, February 1999). The Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure JNC-V1- PDF format from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) NEW updated URL 2-11

References (Contd):
NHLBL JNC IV References Sheet. National Guideline Clearing House - Brief Summary NEW: 2 - 11. Archives of Internal Medicine 1997 Nov 24 BAD LINK NEW URL -waiting for 1997 back issues to be placed on-line ? JNC V1: timing is everything Commentary - The Lancet 15 Nov 97. JNC - 6 Guidelines Editorial - American Journal of Kidney Diseases May 1998 JNC Redux Editorial - American Journal of Kidney Diseases May 1998 Treatment of hypertension; insights from the JNC V1 report. Am Fam Physician 1998 Oct 15; 58 (6; 1323 - 30 - PubMed abstract)