Recently reported and ongoing morbidity and mortality trials in hypertensive patients are addressing important unanswered questions in hypertension management. What is the optimal first-line treatment for hypertension, what is the ideal combination of antihypertensive drugs, how are these influenced in particular patient subgroups, and what are the treatment thresholds and blood pressure goals of treatment for optimal prevention of cardiovascular disease? Limitations of some recent trials are highlighted and emphasise the need for further prospective meta-analyses of studies to provide adequate power to address some of these important questions. Current ongoing large scale studies, including ALLHAT and ASCOT, will shortly be reporting results to the scientific community and are likely to influence management decisions across a wide range of patient subgroups.
For UK healthcare professionals only