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July 26, 1985

Slowing the Return of Hypertension After Stopping Medication-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson
Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY
University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Medicine
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health

JAMA. 1985;254(4):503. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360040053009

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In Reply.—  Dr Finnerty asked a very cogent question: "Why wait for five years to discontinue therapy?" By implication, Dr Finnerty is asking about mild hypertensive people who are well controlled on one medication alone. We would agree with the figures he gives for those with well-controlled hypertension with mean diastolic blood pressures of 83 mm Hg. However, we interpret Dr Finnerty's data as being the experience of patients who were treated for 12 months, not six months. Also, some of our patients relapsed long after six months without medication, emphasizing the need for continued surveillance of the patient.We agree with Dr Finnerty that there are strong indications that regression of the hypertensive process may occur with prolonged therapy. We think that the period of treatment needed is probably longer than six months, but less than five years. Also, there are indications that dietary change helps blood pressure control.