, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 122-130

Management of hypertension by general practitioners: An Italian observational study

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Data on patients receiving antihypertensive therapy were collected from 20 general practitioners (GPs) in Campania, Italy, to determine the prescription of different antihypertensive classes and their use with other drugs for concomitant diseases, to investigate the main factors influencing antihypertensive choice, to document treatment outcome, and to assess adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Each GP completed a data card for each consultation that produced an antihypertensive prescription; 1900 cards were collected. The most frequently used antihypertensives were angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (49.6%), calcium antagonists (24.8%), beta blockers (11.7%), angiotensin II-receptor blockers (5.5%), and alpha blockers (0.9%). In 82% of patients, blood pressure was reduced but did not reach normotensive levels. The choice of antihypertensive treatment was influenced by international guidelines (56%), clinical diagnosis (25%), concomitant diseases (8%), cost (4%), compliance (3%), and other factors (5%). ADRs—most often cough (35.7%), edema (22.7%), headache (13.3%), and tachycardia (7.8%)—occurred in 11.8% of patients.