J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2010;12:666–677. ©2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Hypertensive patients with cardiovascular (CV) comorbidities are at increased risk, and cardiologists’ care should put particular emphasis on controlling blood pressure. Data on blood pressure treatment and control and drug utilization on a global scale, however, are scarce. Aiming to resolve this lack of information, the authors analyzed the data of International Survey Evaluating Microalbuminuria Routinely by Cardiologists in Patients With Hypertension (i-SEARCH) to gain further insights into national and regional blood pressure control and antihypertensive pharmacotherapy prescribed in cardiology practice. A total of 22,282 patients with hypertension from 26 countries were enrolled in 2005/2006. A total of 18,652 patients were treated (mean age, 63.0±11.4 years; 52.2% male; mean body mass index, 28.9 kg/m2). Mean systolic blood pressure was 148.2±19.8 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure was 86.7±11.6 mm Hg. Blood pressure was controlled in 8.3% of diabetic and 25.3% of nondiabetic patients (21.2% overall), with particularly good control rates in North and Latin America (28.0% and 30.6%, respectively). A total of 31.2% of patients were treated with 1, 39.7% with 2, and 29.1% with ≥3 drugs. β-Blockers were being used most frequently (47.9%), in both monotherapy and combination therapy despite low numbers of patients with respective compelling indications for their use. The present data illustrate the potential for an improvement of blood pressure treatment and control in daily cardiology practice.