The heart (ventricle and atrium) is the heart of hypertension, not blood pressure.

Some old icons of hypertension warrant questioning in view of new insights. Lowering of blood pressure is no criterion of efficacy in prevention of cardiovascular morbidity, mortality and sudden death. The drugs used in early studies - diuretics, vasodilators and reserpine - greatly improved mortality from malignant hypertension, apoplectic stroke and congestive heart failure, but had little or no effect in persons with milder degrees of elevated blood pressure, who constitute the vast majority of hypertensives. The failure of diuretics and vasodilators to influence cardiovascular disease favorably appears due not to their known adverse effects on risk factors, such as lipids, as some have held, but to a failure - in conjunction with some sympathetic blocking agents - to cause effective regression of left ventricular hypertrophy, the keystone of successful therapy. A study of 674 hypertensive persons surveyed in the United States and eastern Canada, personally examined during their visit to a Florida health resort, has shown striking changes in prescribing practice during the period surveyed (1985-88), notably with increased use of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and, to a lesser degree, increased use of calcium channel blockers. Both of these cause regression of left ventricular hypertrophy, and will hopefully show long term benefit in decreasing hypertension mortality. Left ventricular hypertrophy is detected most sensitively echocardiographically, and is worthwhile not only for estimation of prognosis, but also for guiding therapy. Left atrial hypertrophy is a mirror of left ventricular hypertrophy and may be detected echocardiographically and in the electrocardiogram.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
AuthorsR S Gubner
JournalThe Canadian journal of cardiology (Can J Cardiol) Vol. 6 Issue 8 Pg. 367-72 (Oct 1990) ISSN: 0828-282X [Print] CANADA
PMID2148501 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
  • Cardiomegaly (complications, drug therapy)
  • Humans
  • Hypertension (complications, drug therapy)

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