"The percentage of patients whose blood pressure was controlled in this study was much higher compared to other combination therapy trials," says one of the study's two principal investigators, Elijah Saunders, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a cardiologist and hypertension expert at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
"This was the first large-scale hypertension study to include such a broad range of patient groups," says Dr. Saunders. "We found that this combination therapy reduced systolic blood pressure to a desirable level in 77 percent of the patients, and 83 percent of the patients in our study achieved an acceptable diastolic blood pressure. These results are significant," he adds.
The study began with a total of 1,005 participants with high blood pressure. A broad range of people participated in the study in terms of age and ethnicity. Half of them were women. All were given a diuretic alone for two weeks at the start of the trial. Nearly 30 percent of participants responded to this one drug, so they were eliminated from further participation.
The remaining 736 people were given the combination pill of irbesartan (an angiotensin II receptor blocker) and a diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide, in increasingly stronger doses until their blood pressure reached a desirable goal. At the end of 18 weeks, the participants' systolic b
Contact: Bill Seiler
University of Maryland Medical Center