, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 583-590
Date: 24 Aug 2012

Managing Hypertension with Combination Diuretics and Methyldopa in Nigerian Blacks at the Primary Care Level

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Abstract

Objective

To gain insight into the control of hypertension and to suggest possible interventions within a selected black population treated with combination diuretics (amiloride 5mg + hydrochlorothiazide 50mg) and/or methyldopa for uncomplicated essential hypertension.

Design and setting

A 2-year retrospective cohort review of the outpatient medical records of a State Comprehensive Health Center in southwestern Nigeria. Free primary health service, including free drugs, is provided in the health facility for all patients.

Patients and methods

The study population included outpatients continuously registered at the health centre between June 1999 and June 2002, aged ≥36 years, with 2–6 months’ history of hypertension or newly diagnosed hypertension and followed for 6 months after diagnosis. They were managed with methyldopa 250mg and/or combination diuretics (amiloride 5mg + hydrochlorothiazide 50mg) or a combination in two different regimens for at least 6 months. Participating physicians measured patients’ blood pressure with a validated device and recorded demographics and medical history. Patients were considered to have hypertension if systolic blood pressure was >140mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure was >90mm Hg.

Results

Bivariate regression analysis revealed that systolic blood pressure contributed moderately to the variances of drug and regimen decisions. Among the 128 hypertensive patients with average and modal ages of 57.2 ± 11.1 and 60 years, respectively, only 37.5% had controlled blood pressure after the first treatment; with 10.2% and 4% of the study population needing, respectively, three and five re-treatments within 6 months to achieve target blood pressure levels.

Conclusion

A high percentage of uncontrolled blood pressure and re-treatment rates were observed within the study population. A more aggressive management strategy that individualises diuretic therapy by titrating dose to systolic blood pressure and prioritises lifestyle modification in middle-aged and elderly black hypertensive patients is suggested.