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Ann Intern Med. 1991 Apr 15;114(8):613-20.

Effect of antihypertensives on sexual function and quality of life: the TAIM Study.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.



To evaluate treatment of mild hypertension using combinations of diet and low-dose pharmacologic therapies.


Multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.


Three university-based tertiary care centers.


Patients (697) 21 to 65 years of age with diastolic blood pressure between 90 and 100 mm Hg as well as weight between 110% and 160% of ideal weight.


Patients were stratified by clinical center and race and were randomly assigned to one of three diets (usual, low-sodium and high-potassium, weight loss) and one of three agents (placebo, chlorthalidone, and atenolol).


Changes in measures of sexual problems, distress, and well-being after 6 months of therapy were analyzed.


Low-dose chlorthalidone and atenolol produced few side effects, except in men. Erection-related problems worsened in 28% (95% CI, 15% to 41%) of men receiving chlorthalidone and usual diet compared with 3% (CI, 0% to 9%) of those receiving placebo and usual diet (P = 0.009) and 11% (CI, 2% to 20%) of those receiving atenolol and usual diet (P greater than 0.05). The weight loss diet ameliorated this effect. The low-sodium diet with placebo was associated with greater fatigue (34%; CI, 23% to 45%) than was either usual diet (18%; CI, 10% to 27%; P = 0.04) or weight reduction (15%; CI, 7% to 23%; P = 0.009). The low-sodium diet with chlorthalidone increased problems with sleep (32%; CI, 22% to 42%) compared with chlorthalidone and usual diet (16%; CI, 8% to 24%; P = 0.04). The weight loss diet benefited quality of life most, reducing total physical complaints (P less than 0.001) and increasing satisfaction with health (P less than 0.001). Total physical complaints decreased in 57% to 76% of patients depending on drug and diet group, and were markedly decreased by weight loss.


In general, low-dose antihypertensive drug therapy (with chlorthalidone or atenolol) improves rather than impairs the quality of life; however, chlorthalidone with usual diet increases sexual problems in men.

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