Treatment of hypertension in adults with diabetes

Carlos Arauz-Pacheo, Marian A. Parrott, Philip Raskin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

324 Scopus citations


There is a strong epidemiological connection between hypertension in diabetes and adverse outcomes of diabetes. Clinical trials demonstrate the efficacy of drug therapy versus placebo in reducing these outcomes and in setting an aggressive blood pressure-lowering target of < 130/80 mmHg. It is very clear that many people will require three or more drugs to achieve the recommended target. Achievement of the target blood pressure goal with a regimen that does not produce burdensome side effects and is at reasonable cost to the patient is probably more important than the specific drug strategy. Because many studies demonstrate the benefits of ACE inhibitors on multiple adverse outcomes in patients with diabetes, including both macrovascular and microvascular complications, in patients with either mild or more severe hypertension and in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the established practice of choosing an ACE inhibitor as the first-line agent in most patients with diabetes is reasonable. In patients with microalbuminemia or clinical nephropathy, both ACE inhibitors (type 1 and type 2 patients) and ARBs (type 2 patients) are considered first-line therapy for the prevention of and progression of nephropathy. However, other strategies including diuretic and β-blocker-based therapy are also supported by evidence. Because of lingering concerns about the lower effectiveness of DCCBs (compared with ACE inhibitors, ARBs, β-blockers, or diuretics) in decreasing coronary events and heart failure and in reducing progression of renal disease in diabetes, these agents should be used as second-line drugs for patients who cannot tolerate the other preferred classes or who require additional agents to achieve the target blood pressure. Other classes, including α-blockers, may be used under specific indications (such as symptoms of BPH for α-blockers) or other agents have failed to control the blood pressure or have unacceptable side effects. Blood pressure, orthostatic changes, renal function, and serum potassium should be monitored at appropriate intervals. Treatment decisions should be individualized based on the clinical characteristics of the patient, including comorbidities as well as tolerability, personal preferences, and cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S80-S82
JournalDiabetes care
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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