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July 10, 1981

Drug therapy achieves most success in hypertension control

JAMA. 1981;246(2):109-110. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320020003001

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Physicians who rely on nonpharmacologic means to control hypertension are wasting a lot of time and achieving little success in lowering the blood pressures (BP) of their patients, a Canadian physician told a national conference on prescribing held at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

Furthermore, among those physicians who do prescribe medications, too few prescribe aggressively enough, and too many fail to get patient compliance.

The result, said R. Brian Haynes, MD, assistant professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University Medical Center in Hamilton, Ontario, is that in only about 30% of hypertensives does treatment result in normalization of BP, despite the fact that most such patients can be successfully treated with available medications.

"Studies show," said Haynes, "that fully 98% of physicians recommend weight reduction in overweight patients, and over 90% say they recommend salt restriction to help control blood pressure.

"These admonitions are simple