Initial monotherapy and combination therapy and hypertension control the first year

Hypertension. 2012 Jun;59(6):1124-31. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.194167. Epub 2012 May 7.


Initial antihypertensive therapy with single-pill combinations produced more rapid blood pressure control than initial monotherapy in clinical trials. Other studies reported better cardiovascular outcomes in patients achieving lower blood pressure during the first treatment year. We assessed the effectiveness of initial antihypertensive monotherapy, free combinations, and single-pill combinations in controlling untreated, uncontrolled hypertensives during their first treatment year. Electronic record data were obtained from 180 practice sites; 106 621 hypertensive patients seen from January 2004 to June 2009 had uncontrolled blood pressure, were untreated for ≥ 6 months before therapy, and had ≥ 1 one-year follow-up blood pressure data. Control was determined by the first follow-up visit with blood pressure <140/<90 mm Hg for patients without diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease and <130/<80 mm Hg for patients with either or both conditions. Multivariable hazards regression ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for time to control were calculated, adjusting for age, sex, baseline blood pressure, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, initial therapy, final blood pressure medication number, and therapeutic inertia. Patients on initial single-pill combinations (N = 9194) were more likely to have stage 2 hypertension than those on free combinations (N = 18 328) or monotherapy (N = 79 099; all P<0.001). Initial therapy with single-pill combinations (HR, 1.53 [95% CI, 1.47-1.58]) provided better hypertension control in the first year than free combinations (HR, 1.34; [95% CI, 1.31-1.37]) or monotherapy (reference) with benefits in black and white patients. Greater use of single-pill combinations as initial therapy may improve hypertension control and cardiovascular outcomes in the first treatment year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Drug Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / ethnology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data


  • Antihypertensive Agents