THE SIXTH Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure" (JNC VI)1 documents major progress in the scientific basis for treatment of hypertension and recognizes advances in the availability of major new classes of drugs that have clear benefits in treating hypertension under certain conditions. This report also documents some major failings. The number of individuals with high blood pressure who were identified, treated, and had their disease controlled increased steadily from 1976 through 1991.1 This was paralleled by dramatic decreases in death from stroke and coronary heart disease.1 However, from 1991 to 1994 the rates of detection, treatment, and control did not improve and the declines in stroke and coronary heart disease appear to have plateaued.1
The fourth JNC report (JNCIV), published in 1988,2 listed 5 broad classes of antihypertensive drugs, composed of 47 individual agents.
Fagan TC. Evolution of the Joint National Committee Reports, 1988-1997Evolution of the Science of Treating Hypertension. Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(21):2401-2402. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440420019002