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Antihypertensive drug effects on long-term blood pressure: an individual-level data meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dexter CanoyORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. OBJECTIVE: Evidence from randomised trials of pharmacological treatments on long-term blood pressure (BP) reduction is limited. We investigated the antihypertensive drug effects on BP over time and across different participant characteristics. METHODS: We conducted an individual patient-level data meta-analysis of 52 large-scale randomised clinical trials in the Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists' Collaboration using mixed models to examine treatment effects on BP over 4 years of mean follow-up. RESULTS: There were 363 684 participants (42% women), with baseline mean age=65 years and mean systolic/diastolic BP=152/87 mm Hg, and among whom 19% were current smokers, 49% had cardiovascular disease, 28% had diabetes and 69% were taking antihypertensive treatment at baseline. Drugs were effective in lowering BP showing maximal effect after 12 months and gradually attenuating towards later years. Based on measures taken ≥12 months postrandomisation, mean systolic/diastolic BP difference (95% CI) between more and less intense BP-lowering treatment was -11.1 (-11.3 to -10.8)/-5.6 (-5.7 to -5.4) mm Hg; between active treatment and placebo was -5.1 (-5.3 to -5.0)/-2.3 (-2.4 to -2.2) mm Hg; and between active and control arms for drug comparison trials was -1.4 (-1.5 to -1.3)/-0.6 (-0.7 to -0.6) mm Hg. BP reductions were observed across different baseline BP values and ages, and by sex, history of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and prior antihypertensive treatment use. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that BP-lowering pharmacotherapy is effective in lowering BP, up to 4 years on average, in people with different characteristics. Appropriate treatment strategies are needed to sustain substantive long-term BP reductions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Canoy D, Copland E, Nazarzadeh M, Ramakrishnan R, Pinho-Gomes A-C, Salam A, Dwyer JP, Farzadfar F, Sundstrom J, Woodward M, Davis BR, Rahimi K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Heart

Year: 2022

Volume: 108

Issue: 16

Pages: 1281-1289

Online publication date: 20/01/2022

Acceptance date: 20/11/2021

Date deposited: 24/11/2022

ISSN (print): 1468-201X

ISSN (electronic): 1355-6037

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2021-320171

PubMed id: 35058294


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