COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Management of hypertension in patients with CKD: differences between primary and tertiary care settings

Roberto Minutolo, Luca De Nicola, Pasquale Zamboli, Paolo Chiodini, Giuseppe Signoriello, Clemente Toderico, Gennaro Arfè, Giuseppe Boschi, Ciro Brancati, Patrizia Iaccarino, Giuseppe Conte
American Journal of Kidney Diseases 2005, 46 (1): 18-25
15983953

BACKGROUND: Although most patients with moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) are managed exclusively in primary care (PC), no data on blood pressure (BP) control in this setting are available. We compared hypertension management in patients with CKD followed up in PC and nephrology tertiary care (TC).

METHODS: We studied hypertensive patients with estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs) of 15 to 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (0.25 to 1.00 mL/s) exclusively followed up for at least 1 year in PC (n = 259) or TC (n = 186).

RESULTS: PC compared with TC patients were characterized by older age (73 +/- 10 versus 65 +/- 14 years; P < 0.0001), greater prevalences of previous cardiovascular events (59% versus 32%; P < 0.0001) and diabetes (36% versus 23%; P = 0.005), and slightly greater eGFRs (37 +/- 10 versus 34 +/- 11 mL/min/1.73 m2 ; P = 0.005). They showed higher BP levels (143 +/- 15/82 +/- 7 versus 136 +/- 18/78 +/- 11 mm Hg; P < 0.0001), with a lower prevalence of BP target (5.8% [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.9 to 8.6] versus 21.5% [95% CI, 15.6 to 27.4]; P < 0.0001). The risk for not achieving BP target in PC was 2.6 times greater, independently from age, sex, diabetes, and eGFR. Fewer antihypertensive drugs were prescribed in PC (1.9 +/- 1.1 versus 2.5 +/- 1.1; P < 0.0001). In both groups, inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system were the most frequently prescribed drugs (>84%), followed by diuretics (50%). However, family physicians almost exclusively prescribed hydrochlorothiazide, whereas nephrologists preferentially prescribed furosemide, administered at a higher dose than in PC (47 +/- 41 versus 28 +/- 21 mg/d; P = 0.004).

CONCLUSION: Control of CKD-related hypertension is significantly worse in PC despite a greater cardiovascular risk. Barriers to optimal BP control likely are represented by a low number of drugs and inadequate diuretic therapy.

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