Objective: To test the primary hypothesis that a newer antihypertensive treatment regimen (calcium channel blocker +/- an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor) is more effective than an older regimen (beta-blocker +/- a diuretic) in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD). To test a second primary hypothesis that a statin compared with placebo will further protect against CHD endpoints in hypertensive subjects with a total cholesterol < or = 6.5 mmol/l.
Design: Prospective, randomized, open, blinded endpoint trial with a double-blinded 2 x 2 factorial component.
Setting: Patients were recruited mainly from general practices.
Patients: Men and women aged 40-79 were eligible if their blood pressure was > or = 160 mmHg systolic or > or = 100 mmHg diastolic (untreated) or > or = 140 mmHg systolic or > or = 90 mmHg diastolic (treated) at randomization.
Interventions: Patients received either amlodipine (5/ 10 mg) +/- perindopril (4/8 mg) or atenolol (50/ 100 mg) +/- bendroflumethiazide (1.25/2.5 mg) +K+ with further therapy as required to reach a blood pressure of < or = 140 mmHg systolic and 90 mmHg diastolic. Patients with a total cholesterol of < or = 6.5 mmol/l were further randomized to receive either atorvastatin 10 mg or placebo daily.
Main outcome measure: Non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) and fatal coronary heart disease (CHD).
Results: 19 342 men and women were initially randomized, of these 10297 were also randomized into the lipid-lowering limb. All patients had three or more additional cardiovascular risk factors.
Conclusions: The study has 80% power (at the 5% level) to detect a relative difference of 20% in CHD endpoints between the calcium channel blocker-based regimen and the beta-blocker-based regimen. The lipid-lowering limb of the study has 90% power at the 1% level to detect a relative difference of 30% in CHD endpoints between groups.