Prevention of hypertension and its complications: Theoretical basis and guidelines for treatment

John M. Flack, Rosalind Peters, Tariq Shafi, Hisham Alrefai, Samar A. Nasser, Errol Crook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Hypertension is a nutritional-hygienic disease. Long-term caloric intake in excess of energy expenditures, chronic supraphysiological intake of dietary sodium, excessive alcohol consumption, and psychosocial stressors all contribute to the development of hypertension throughout the world. Elevated BP, particularly systolic BP, has been linked to multiple adverse clinical outcomes including stroke, heart failure, myocardial infarction, renal insufficiency/failure, peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy, dementia, and premature mortality. These undesirable clinical outcomes are typically, although not invariably, preceded by pressure-related target-organ injury such as left ventricular hypertrophy, renal insufficiency and proteinuria. The relation of BP and CKD and, in turn, the prevention of CKD or forestalling its progression by hypertension treatment, will be the focus of this manuscript. In hypertensive persons with reduced kidney function and/or proteinuria, lowering BP with multidrug therapy that is inclusive of pharmacologic modulators of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-kinin system is an effective strategy to forestall the progressive loss of kidney function. The totality of data support low therapeutic BP targets for persons with proteinuria > 1 g/d. Nevertheless, in persons with CKD, even those with proteinuria below the dipstick positive level (approximately 300 mg/d or urine protein to creatinine ratio of 0.22), aggressive BP control also may be warranted because of the high risk of nonrenal cardiovascular disease. Multiple antihypertensive drugs will be required in the vast majority of patients with diabetes and/or reduced kidney function to attain BP goal. Renin-angiotensin system (RAS) modulator therapy is indicated among persons with diabetes mellitus and CKD. Available data support the use of angiotensin receptor blockers in persons with type 2 diabetes and overt nephropathy for preservation of kidney function. Among persons with type I diabetes with or without overt nephropathy, type 2 diabetes without overt nephropathy and in nondiabetic CKD, the available clinical data support the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors as the RAS modulator of choice. Low therapeutic target BP levels <130/80 mmHg in persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus also appear warranted based on available data mostly for reducing the risk of nonrenal cardiovascular disease and overall mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S92-S98
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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