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Am J Hypertens. 1995 Feb;8(2):189-92.

Department of veterans Affairs single-drug therapy of hypertension study. Revised figures and new data. Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study Group on Antihypertensive Agents.

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Cooperative Studies Program of the Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Miami, Florida, USA.


The antihypertensive efficacy of six drugs and placebo was compared in 1292 men with untreated diastolic blood pressure of 95 to 109 mm Hg. The primary end point "success" was defined as the patient having achieved a diastolic blood pressure of < 90 mm Hg at the end of the drug titration period and having maintained a diastolic blood pressure of < 95 mm Hg for 1 year without drug intolerance. The original published success rate data (N Engl J Med 1993;328:914-921) were discovered to be in error due to a computer programming code omission (N Engl J Med 1994;330:1689). This paper presents corrected graphic figures. The corrected success rates were generally higher than originally published. Overall, diltiazem (72%) was significantly higher than hydrochlorothiazide (55%), prazosin (54%), captopril (50%), and placebo (31%); clonidine (62%) and atenolol (60%) were intermediate. There were some changes in the hierarchy of drug response, but important differences in success rates according to age by race subgroups remained. Whites responded well to all drug classes, except for lower efficacy of hydrochlorothiazide in younger whites. Blacks responded better to diltiazem than other agents. In addition, we have analyzed the data using a definition of success based on < 90 mm Hg for 1 year. Use of the <90 mm Hg criterion reduced the rate of success, but had only a minor effect on the drug success rate hierarchy. We conclude that single-drug antihypertensive therapy is effective in a majority of stage 1 to 2 diastolic hypertensive patients, although there are important age-by-race differences in success rates among various drug classes.

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