Journal of human hypertension vol:7 issue:3 pages:265-71
This report from the double-blind placebo-controlled SYST-EUR trial investigated whether modern antihypertensive drugs are suitable for maintaining long-term BP control in older (> or = 60 years of age) subjects with isolated systolic hypertension (SBP 160-219 mmHg and DBP < 95 mmHg). Active treatment consisted of nitredipine (10-40 mg/day) with the possible addition of enalapril (5-20 mg/day) and hydrochlorothiazide (12.5-25 mg/day), if necessary to reduce SBP to < 150 mmHg and by > or = 20 mmHg. Matching placebos were used in the control group. This analysis was restricted to 18 months of follow-up. The placebo (n = 456) and active treatment (n = 485) groups had similar characteristics at randomisation (sitting pressure 176/85 mmHg; age 73 years). SBP fell (P < 0.001) on average 10 mmHg more on active treatment than on placebo and DBP 4 mmHg 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 earlier (P < 0.001). Nitrendipine tablets were discontinued in nine patients on placebo and in 29 patients assigned to active treatment (P < 0.001). In conclusion, a significant BP reduction can be achieved and maintained in older patients with isolated systolic hypertension treated with a calcium antagonist (associated with a converting-enzyme inhibitor and a thiazide, where necessary). Whether this BP reduction results in a clinically meaningful decrease of cardiovascular complications is under investigation.