The objective of the study was to assess whether the publication of new guidelines, such as JNC VI 1997 and WHO/ISH 1999, and the development of new antihypertensive drugs have improved blood pressure (BP) control. A total of 150 patients (age 29-88, mean 66 ± 11 years in 2001) who were followed at our hypertension clinic during 1991-2001 were retrospectively investigated. We compared the clinical characteristics of the patients in 2001 to those in 1991 and 1996, using the averaged BP determined at two occasions each year for our analysis. The average BP decreased during the 10 years between 1991 and 2001. When good BP control was defined as <140/90 mmHg, the rate of patients with good BP control increased from 31% in 1991 to 43% in 1996, and to 57% in 2001 (P<0.001 vs 1991). Both younger (≤64 years) and older (≥65 years) patients showed similar improvement during these 10 years. In 2001, satisfactory BP control (<130/85 mmHg) was achieved in 24% of younger patients, which was significantly higher than the achievement in 1991 (10%, P = 0.02). This improvement occurred at the same time as an increase in the prescription of Ca antagonists and angiotensin II antagonist. The patients with improved BP control during these 10 years (n = 50) showed lower body mass index (BMI) and serum total cholesterol levels in 2001 compared to persistently uncontrolled patients (n = 54). Furthermore, the change in BMI during these 10 years was significantly less in the patients with improved BP control than in the persistently uncontrolled patients. In conclusion, BP control improved in the 10 years studied, and it seems to be attributable to the more frequent use of the newer drugs such as angiotensin II antagonists and Ca antagonists, to lifestyle modification and also to the growth in awareness of the importance of strict BP control.
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