The 2000 Canadian recommendations for the management of hypertension: Part one--therapy

Can J Cardiol. 2001 May;17(5):543-59.


Objective: To provide updated, evidence-based recommendations for the therapy of hypertension in adults.

Options: For patients with hypertension, there are a number of lifestyle manoeuvres and antihypertensive agents that may control blood pressure. Randomized trials evaluating first- line therapy with thiazides, beta-adrenergic antagonists, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, alpha-blockers, centrally acting agents or angiotensin II receptor antagonists were reviewed.

Outcomes: The health outcomes considered were changes in blood pressure, cardiovascular morbidity, and cardiovascular and/or all-cause mortality rates. Economic outcomes were not considered due to insufficient evidence.

Evidence: Medline searches were conducted from the period of the last revision of the Canadian Recommendations for the Management of Hypertension (May 1998 to October 2000). Reference lists were scanned, experts were polled, and the personal files of the subgroup members and authors were used to identify other studies. All relevant articles were reviewed and appraised, using prespecified levels of evidence, by content experts and methodological experts.

Values: A high value was placed on the avoidance of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Benefits, harms, and costs: Various lifestyle manoeuvres and antihypertensive agents reduce the blood pressure of patients with sustained hypertension. In certain settings, and for specific classes of drugs, blood pressure lowering has been associated with reduced cardiovascular morbidity and/or mortality.

Recommendations: The present document contains detailed recommendations pertaining to all aspects of the therapy of patients with hypertension, including lifestyle modifications proven to lower blood pressure, treatment thresholds, target blood pressures, choice of agents in various settings and strategies to enhance adherence. Lower thresholds for blood pressure treatment are advocated for people with other cardiovascular risk factors or established hypertensive target organ damage. Implicit in the recommendations for therapy is the principle that treatment should be individualized for each patient and the choice of agent should be dictated by coexistent conditions. For the treatment of uncomplicated essential hypertension, thiazides, beta-adrenergic antagonists, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or calcium channel blockers may be appropriate, depending on individual circumstances.

Validation: All recommendations were graded according to strength of the evidence and voted on by the Canadian Hypertension Recommendations Working Group. Only those recommendations achieving high levels of consensus are reported here. These guidelines will be updated annually.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / economics
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Hypertension, Renovascular / therapy
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Management


  • Antihypertensive Agents