Journal of human hypertension vol:10 issue:11 pages:735-42
This report on the ongoing double-blind placebo-controlled Syst-China trial investigated whether antihypertensive drug treatment based mainly on a calcium entry blocker and a converting enzyme inhibitor, would be suitable for maintaining long-term blood pressure (BP) control in older Chinese patients (average age: 67 years) with isolated systolic hypertension (systolic pressure 160-219 mm Hg and diastolic pressure < 95 mm Hg). Active treatment consisted of nitrendipine (10- 40 mg/day) with the possible addition of captopril (12.5- 50 mg/day) and hydrochlorothiazide (12.5-50 mg/day), as necessary to reduce systolic pressure to a level of 150 mm Hg or lower and by at least 20 mm Hg. Matching placebos were used in the control group. This progress analysis was restricted to BP control up to 3 years of follow-up. The placebo (n = 1134) and active treatment n = 1245) groups had similar characteristics at enrolment. The sitting BP averaged 170/86 mm Hg. Systolic pressure fell (P < 0.001) on average 8 mm Hg more on active treatment than on placebo and diastolic pressure 3 mm Hg more. Fewer patients remained on monotherapy in the placebo than in the active treatment group (P < 0.001); on placebo the second and third line medications were started more frequently (P < 0.001). This progress report showed that significant BP reduction can be achieved and maintained in older Chinese patients treated with a calcium antagonist, associated with a converting-enzyme inhibitor and a thiazide, as necessary. Whether this BP reduction would result in a clinically meaningful decrease of cardiovascular complications is still under investigation.