Objectives: The primary objective was to assess the effects of rilmenidine monotherapy and in combination with perindopril on blood pressure (BP) in patients assessed with grade 1 or 2 essential hypertension. The study also examined the effects of 2-year rilmenidine monotherapy on left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and on diastolic function of the left ventricle, along with the effects of rilmenidine on left ventricular mass index in hypertensive patients with no LVH, and the relationship between BP reduction and any change in LVH. Research design and methods: Mild-to-moderate hypertensive patients (n = 500) were enrolled in a multicentre 2-year open study and treated with rilmenidine (1-2 mg per day) monotherapy or rilmenidine plus perindopril (2, 4 or 8 mg per day) if control of hypertension was not achieved with rilmenidine monotherapy within 12 weeks. Blood pressure was recorded at regular intervals by the investigators and LVH measured by centralised single-blind echocardiographic reading. Results: Rilmenidine monotherapy (average dose 1.42 mg) produced a significant decrease in BP from the baseline of 163 ± 10/100 ± 5 mmHg to 134 ± 10/86 ± 7 mmHg at 1 year and to 136 ± 10/84 ± 7 mmHg at 2 years (p < 0.001 for both). In 188 patients with LVH, the left ventricular mass index was significantly reduced from 161.4 ± 30.5 to 131.3 ± 26.5 at 1 year and to 134.1 ± 26.0 g/m2 at 2 years (p < 0.001 for both). Addition of perindopril to those patients whose BP was not normalised by rilmenidine monotherapy after 12 weeks further decreased BP significantly from 150 ± 13/93 ± 8 mmHg to 142 ± 14/89 ± 7 mmHg at the end of the 2nd year. Conclusions: Long-term rilmenidine monotherapy was shown to be efficient in controlling BP and in reducing LVH. The addition of perindopril to rilmenidine monotherapy proved to be effective and well tolerated in those patients who did not respond to rilmenidine alone.
- ACE inhibitors
- Essential hypertension
- Imidazoline receptor agonists
- Left ventricular hypertrophy
ASJC Scopus subject areas