Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) demonstrate that only 11% of people with diabetes who are treated for high blood pressure achieve the blood pressure goal of <130/85 mm Hg recommended in the sixth report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VI). The current study tests the hypothesis that initial therapy with a fixed-dose combination will achieve the recommended blood pressure goal in patients with type 2 diabetes faster than conventional monotherapy. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study had as a primary end point achievement of blood pressure <130/85 mm Hg. Participants (N=214) with hypertension and type 2 diabetes received either amlodipine/benazepril 5/10 mg (combination) or enalapril 10 mg (conventional) once daily for 4 weeks, titrated to 5/20 mg/day or 20 mg/day, respectively at this time, if target blood pressure was not achieved. Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) 12.5 mg/day was added for the final 4 weeks, if target blood pressure was still not reached. Time from baseline to achieve blood pressure <130/85 mm Hg was shorter in the combination group (5.3+/-3.1 weeks combination vs. 6.4+/-3.8 weeks conventional; p=0.001). At 3 months, more participants in the combination group achieved treatment goal (63% combination vs. 37% conventional; p=0.002). Data analysis at 3 months comparing blood pressure control rates between the fixed-dose combination group (without HCTZ) to the conventional group (receiving HCTZ) showed an even greater disparity in blood pressure goal achievement (87% combination without HCTZ vs. 37% conventional group with HCTZ; p=0.0001). We conclude that initial therapy with a fixed-dose combination may be more efficacious than conventional monotherapy approaches for achieving blood pressure goals in the diabetic patient. A fixed-dose combination approach appears as safe as the current conventional approaches.