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January 21, 1983

Therapy for Mild HypertensionToward a More Balanced View

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Hypertension Division, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas.

JAMA. 1983;249(3):365-367. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330270029027

PUBLICATION in this journal of the results of the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT)1 should bring about a reassessment of the current widespread and routine use of drug treatment for most people with mild hypertension, defined as a diastolic BP between 90 and 104 mm Hg. Such patients make up about 75% of the hypertensive population, a total of at least 30 million Americans. Most American practitioners are now responding to the admonishments of hypertension experts and pharmaceutical advertisements that the "HDFP (Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program) findings justify early and aggressive management of mild hypertension."

Even before the HDFP2 or any other data in support of the value of such therapy for mild hypertension were available, 92% of the physicians in New York State who responded to a questionnaire indicated they routinely gave antihypertensive drug therapy to patients with diastolic BPs between 90 and 104 mm