Features July 2008 Issue

Resistant Hypertension Often Can Be Managed

Lifestyle adjustments and the right combination of medications can help get this condition under control.

By definition, resistant hypertension is high blood pressure that remains above a patient’s target number despite the use of at least three medications, which may include diuretics, beta blockers, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, or some combination thereof. For most adults, that blood pressure target number is below 140/90; for those with diabetes, it’s below 130/80. Among the drugs that patients with resistant hypertension should take are thiazide-type diuretics—which help lower blood pressure by reducing water volume in the body—unless there is a specific medical reason why the patient can’t take them, says Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Michael Faulx, MD.

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