A Survey of Management Practices for Isolated Systolic Hypertension
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the management practices of clinicians for patients with isolated systolic hypertension, with particular attention to treatment thresholds, medication choices, and target blood pressures. DESIGN: Self-administered questionnaire. SETTING: Edmonton, Alberta, a large Canadian city. PARTICIPANTS: A random sample of 348 family physicians and 125 internists. MEASUREMENTS: Demographics of the respondents, first and second choice of antihypertensives, treatment thresholds, and target blood pressures for patients with isolated systolic hypertension. RESULTS: Excluding 54 nondeliverable questionnaires, a response rate of 67% (281 surveys) was obtained. The responding clinicians reported treatment thresholds and target blood pressures consistent with the evidence from randomized clinical trials and the recommendations of the Canadian Hypertension Society and the Fifth Report of the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Thiazide diuretics were recommended as first line therapy by 74% of internists and 58% of family physicians. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors were the most frequently chosen second line drug (27% of internists and 45% of family physicians). CONCLUSIONS: The reported management practices of this group of clinicians are consistent with the evidence from randomized clinical trials and the recommendations of national consensus guidelines.
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