Background: Stage 2 hypertension often requires combination antihypertensive therapy. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is a useful tool for studying antihypertensive drugs and their combinations. OBJECTIVE: This multicenter, double-blind, parallel-group, prompted-titration study of patients of at least 70 years of age with systolic hypertension compared the efficacy of valsartan, hydrochlorothiazide, and their combination on ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) reduction. Methods: After a 3-14-day washout, patients with systolic blood pressure of 150-200 mmHg were randomized (1 : 1 : 1) to initially receive once-daily valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide 160/12.5 mg combination therapy, hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg monotherapy, or valsartan 160 mg monotherapy. Prompted uptitration of patients in whom BP was more than or equal to 140/90 mmHg was performed after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of treatment. ABPM was performed at baseline and weeks 4 and 16 (study end). Results: In this ABPM substudy (n=108), initiationf treatment with valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide lowered ABP more effectively than either monotherapy throughout the daytime, night-time, and 24-h monitoring periods, as well as during the last 4 and 6-h dosing periods. Twenty-four-hour ABP was reduced from 141.1/76.5 mmHg at baseline to 125.8/69.2 mmHg at week 4 (primary time point) with valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide compared with reductions from 142.2/78.7 to 139.1/77.5 mmHg with hydrochlorothiazide and 142.2/78.3 to 136.4/75.1 mmHg with valsartan (all P<0.01 in favor of combination therapy). In the overall study, tolerability was similar among the three treatment groups. Conclusion: In elderly hypertensives, starting combination therapy with valsartan/ hydrochlorothiazide provides more effective 24-h blood pressure control than the monotherapy components, with few therapy-related side-effects.
- ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
- antihypertensive treatment
- arterial hypertension
- combination therapy