Blood Pressure Target Achievement Under Monotheraphy: A Real-Life Appraisal

Giuliano Tocci, Vivianne Presta, Barbara Citoni, Ilaria Figliuzzi, Franca Bianchi, Andrea Ferrucci, Massimo Volpe

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INTRODUCTION: Despite hypertension guidelines suggest that the most effective treatment strategy to improve blood pressure (BP) target achievement is to implement the use of combination treatment, monotherapy is still widely used in the clinical practice of hypertension.

AIM: To investigate BP control under monotherapy in the setting of real-life.

METHODS: We extracted data from a medical database of adult outpatients who were referred to the Hypertension Unit, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome (IT), including anthropometric data, CV risk factors and comorbidities, presence or absence of antihypertensive therapy and concomitant medications. Among treated hypertensive patients, we identified only those under single antihypertensive agent (monotherapy). Office BP treatment targets were defined according to 2018 ESC/ESH guidelines as: (a) < 130/80 mmHg in individuals aged 18-65 years; (b) < 140/80 mmHg in those aged > 65 years.

RESULTS: From an overall sample of 7797 records we selected 1578 (20.2%) hypertensive outpatients (47.3% female, age 59.5 ± 13.6 years, BMI 26.6 ± 4.4 kg/m2) treated with monotherapies, among whom 30.5% received ACE inhibitors, 37.7% ARBs, 15.8% beta-blockers, 10.6% CCBs, 3.0% diuretics, and 2.0% alpha-blockers. 36.6% of these patients reached the conventional clinic BP goal of < 140/90 mmHg, whilst the 2018 European guidelines BP treatment targets were fulfilled only in 14.0%. In particular, 10.2% patients aged 18-65 years and 20.4% of those aged > 65 years achieved the recommended BP goals. All these proportions results significantly lower than those achieved with dual (18.2%) or triple (22.2%) combination therapy, though higher than those obtained with life-style changes (10.8%). Proportions of patients on monotherapies with normal home and 24-h BP levels were 22.0% and 30.2%, respectively, though only 5.2% and 7.3% of these patients achieved sustained BP control, respectively. Ageing and dyslipidaemia showed significant and independent positive predictive value for the achievement of the recommended BP treatment targets, whereas European SCORE resulted a negative and independent predictor in outpatients treated with monotherapies.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data showed a persistent use of monotherapy in the clinical practice, though with unsatisfactory BP control, especially in light of the BP treatment targets suggested by the last hypertension guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-596
Number of pages10
JournalHigh Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Prevention
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents/adverse effects
  • Blood Pressure/drug effects
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension/diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rome
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


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