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Eur Heart J. 2011 Jun;32(12):1500-8. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehr039. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Is a systolic blood pressure target <140 mmHg indicated in all hypertensives? Subgroup analyses of findings from the randomized FEVER trial.

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Division of Hypertension, FuWai Hospital and Cardiovascular Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.



Major guidelines recommend lowering systolic blood pressure (SBP) to <140 mmHg in all hypertensives, but evidence is missing whether this is beneficial in (i) uncomplicated hypertensives, (ii) grade 1 hypertensives, and (iii) elderly hypertensives. Providing this missing evidence is important to justify efforts and costs of aggressive therapy in all hypertensives.


Felodipine Event Reduction (FEVER) was a double-blind, randomized trial on 9711 Chinese hypertensives, in whom cardiovascular outcomes were significantly reduced by more intense therapy (low-dose hydrochlorothiazide and low-dose felodipine) achieving a mean of 138 mmHg SBP compared with less-intense therapy (low-dose hydrochlorothiazide and placebo) achieving a mean of 142 mmHg. FEVER included older and younger patients, and patients with and without diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In the analyses here reported, Cox regression models assessed outcome differences between more and less-intense treatments in groups of patients with different baseline characteristics. Significant reductions in stroke were found in uncomplicated hypertensives (-39%, P = 0.002), in hypertensives with randomization SBP <153 mmHg (-29%, P = 0.03), and in elderly hypertensives (-44%, P < 0.001), when their SBP was lowered by more intense treatment. Significant reductions (between -29 and -47%, P = 0.02 to <0.001) were also found in all cardiovascular events and all deaths. Achieving mean SBP values <140 mmHg by adding a small dose of a generic drug prevented 2.1 (uncomplicated hypertensives) and 5.2 (elderly) cardiovascular events every 100 patients treated for 3.3 years.


These analyses provide strong support, missing so far, to guidelines recommending goal SBP <140 mmHg in uncomplicated hypertensives, individuals with moderately elevated BP and elderly hypertensives.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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