, Volume 64, Issue 8, pp 795–803

The Management of Hypertension in the Overweight and Obese Patient

Is Weight Reduction Sufficient?
Current Opinion

DOI: 10.2165/00003495-200464080-00001

Cite this article as:
Douketis, J.D. & Sharma, A.M. Drugs (2004) 64: 795. doi:10.2165/00003495-200464080-00001


The management of hypertension in the overweight and obese patient is a frequently encountered but under investigated clinical problem. The conventional management of such patients involves weight reduction with dietary therapy or a combined approach with dietary and anti-obesity drug therapy. However, long-term weight reduction, which is necessary to sustain blood pressure (BP) control, is not feasible in over 80% of patients.

Anti-obesity therapy with orlistat has inconsistent effects on BP and may benefit only patients who have uncontrolled or non-medicated hypertension. Anti-obesity therapy with sibutramine may be associated with a modest worsening of BP control. Consequently, antihypertensive drug therapy is often required to supplement a weight reduction programme, and also in patients with severe hypertension or hypertension-associated end-organ damage.

Treatment with a thiazide diuretic should be considered as first-line antihypertensive drug therapy in overweight and obese patients. ACE inhibitors or non-dihydropyridine calcium channel antagonists are reasonable alternatives where clinically indicated, or they can be used in combination with a thiazide diuretic if treatment with the diuretic alone is insufficient. If such treatment is inadequate for BP control, the addition or substitution of an α- or β-adrenoceptor antagonist may be considered, although the latter can be associated with weight gain. Concurrent disease is an important determinant of first-line and supplementary antihypertensive drug therapy.

Additional studies are needed to determine the long-term (>1 year) efficacy and safety of antihypertensive and anti-obesity management strategies in the overweight and obese hypertensive patient.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Joseph’s HospitalHamiltonCanada

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