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BACKGROUND - The African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension was a multicenter trial comparing the effects of 2 levels of blood pressure control (usual or low goal) and initial therapy with metoprolol, ramipril, or amlodipine. We examined effects of treatment-group assignment on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures and reported symptoms during 4 years of follow-up.
METHODS - HRQOL was assessed at baseline and annually by using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) and a symptom checklist. Using a 2-slope model, treatment effects were evaluated for change from baseline to year 1 and for average change during the first 4 years of follow-up.
RESULTS - A total of 1,094 participants were randomly assigned. Average age was 55 years, 61% were men, and the mean of the first glomerular filtration rate in the study was 46 mL/min/1.73 m2 (0.76 mL/s). No significant differences in HRQOL were seen between the low- and usual-blood-pressure groups. Reported side effects also were similar between blood-pressure groups. Mean Physical Health Component (PHC) and Mental Health Component (MHC) scores had a significantly smaller decrease in the ramipril than metoprolol group in both the initial period from baseline to year 1 (PHC, 2.08 +/- 0.56; MHC, 1.89 +/- 0.62) and during the first 4 years of follow-up (PHC, 1.60 +/- 0.44; MHC, 1.48 +/- 0.48). The MHC also had a slightly smaller decrease during the first 4 years in the ramipril group than amlodipine group (1.20 +/- 0.61).
CONCLUSION - Aggressive blood pressure control is well tolerated in African Americans with hypertensive kidney disease, measured by using the SF-36 and reported symptoms. The clinical significance of smaller decreases in PHC and MHC scores in the ramipril compared with metoprolol group is not clear.