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1.  The Association between Hypertension and Dementia in the Elderly 
Hypertension (HT) and dementia are common disorders in the elderly. HT in the elderly is associated with increased occurrence rates of dementia including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD). In connection to this, some studies have suggested that HT in old age correlates with the pathogenesis of dementia. Since HT is potentially reversible, a number of randomized trials have examined whether antihypertensive treatment may help in preventing dementia occurrence. We review five studies, all using subjects 60 years or older, which investigated different antihypertensive pharmacological treatments. Data from two trials (Syst-Eur, PROGRESS) open the way toward the prevention of dementia (AD or VaD) by antihypertensive treatments. In the Syst-Eur study, with the dihydropyridine calcium antagonists, a reduction in both types of dementia was demonstrated (risk reduction 55%). The PROGRESS study showed that the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), with or without diuretics, resulted in decrease incidence of stroke-related dementia (risk reduction 19%), but dementia without stroke was not reduced. In contrast, the SHEP trial, treatment with a chlorthalidone-based antihypertensive regimen, did not significantly reduced the incidence of dementia. The SCOPE study (candesartan or hydrochlorothiazide versus placebo) and the HYVET-COG study (indapamide or perindopril versus placebo) found no significant difference between the active treatment and placebo group on the incidence of dementia. We found conflicting results regarding treatment benefits in dementia prevention. Recent clinical trials and studies on animal models suggest that blockades of RAS system could have reduced cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Future trials primarily designed to investigate the effects of antihypertensive agents on impaired cognition are needed.
doi:10.1155/2012/320648
PMCID: PMC3216296  PMID: 22121477
2.  No evidence that frailty modifies the positive impact of antihypertensive treatment in very elderly people: an investigation of the impact of frailty upon treatment effect in the HYpertension in the Very Elderly Trial (HYVET) study, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of antihypertensives in people with hypertension aged 80 and over 
BMC Medicine  2015;13:78.
Background
Treatment for hypertension with antihypertensive medication has been shown to reduce stroke, cardiovascular events, and mortality in older adults, but there is concern that such treatment may not be appropriate in frailer older adults. To investigate whether there is an interaction between effect of treatment for hypertension and frailty in older adults, we calculated the frailty index (FI) for all available participants from the HYpertension in the Very Elderly Trial (HYVET) study, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of antihypertensives in people with hypertension aged 80 and over, and obtained frailty adjusted estimates of the effect of treatment with antihypertensive medication on risk of stroke, cardiovascular events, and mortality.
Methods
Participants in HYVET were randomised 1:1 to active treatment with indapamide sustained release 1.5 mg ± perindopril 2 to 4 mg or to matching placebo. Data relating to blood pressure, comorbidities, cognitive function, depression, and quality of life were collected at entry into the study and at subsequent follow-up visits. The FI was calculated at entry, based on 60 potential deficits. The distribution of FI was similar to that seen in population studies of adults aged 80 years and above (median FI, 0.17; IQR, 0.11–0.24). Cox regression was used to assess the impact of FI at entry to the study on subsequent risk of stroke, total mortality, and cardiovascular events. Models were stratified by region of recruitment and adjusted for sex and age at entry. Extending these models to include a term for a possible interaction between treatment for hypertension and FI provided a formula for the treatment effect as a function of FI. For all three models, the point estimates of the hazard ratios for the treatment effect decreased as FI increased, although to varying degrees and with varying certainty.
Results
We found no evidence of an interaction between effect of treatment for hypertension and frailty as measured by the FI. Both the frailer and the fitter older adults with hypertension appeared to gain from treatment.
Conclusions
Further work to examine whether antihypertensive treatment modifies frailty as measured by the FI should be explored.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00122811 (July 2005)
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0328-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0328-1
PMCID: PMC4404571  PMID: 25880068
Ageing; Antihypertensives; Frailty; Hypertension
3.  Modelling Cognitive Decline in the Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial [HYVET] and Proposed Risk Tables for Population Use 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11775.
Introduction
Although, on average, cognition declines with age, cognition in older adults is a dynamic process. Hypertension is associated with greater decline in cognition with age, but whether treatment of hypertension affects this is uncertain. Here, we modelled dynamics of cognition in relation to the treatment of hypertension, to see if treatment effects might better be discerned by a model that included baseline measures of cognition and consequent mortality
Methodology/Principal Findings
This is a secondary analysis of the Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial (HYVET), a double blind, placebo controlled trial of indapamide, with or without perindopril, in people aged 80+ years at enrollment. Cognitive states were defined in relation to errors on the Mini-Mental State Examination, with more errors signifying worse cognition. Change in cognitive state was evaluated using a dynamic model of cognitive transition. In the model, the probabilities of transitions between cognitive states is represented by a Poisson distribution, with the Poisson mean dependent on the baseline cognitive state.
The dynamic model of cognitive transition was good (R2 = 0.74) both for those on placebo and (0.86) for those on active treatment. The probability of maintaining cognitive function, based on baseline function, was slightly higher in the actively treated group (e.g., for those with the fewest baseline errors, the chance of staying in that state was 63% for those on treatment, compared with 60% for those on placebo). Outcomes at two and four years could be predicted based on the initial state and treatment.
Conclusions/Significance
A dynamic model of cognition that allows all outcomes (cognitive worsening, stability improvement or death) to be categorized simultaneously detected small but consistent differences between treatment and control groups (in favour of treatment) amongst very elderly people treated for hypertension. The model showed good fit, and suggests that most change in cognition in very elderly people is small, and depends on their baseline state and on treatment. Additional work is needed to understand whether this modelling approach is well suited to the valuation of small effects, especially in the face of mortality differences between treatment groups.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT0012281
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011775
PMCID: PMC2909901  PMID: 20668673
4.  The older patient with hypertension: care and cure 
Hypertension is one of the most important clinical conditions affecting older people. Its prevalence in this group of subjects is above 60% and continues to grow. Isolated systolic hypertension accounts for the majority of cases as systolic blood pressure increases with advancing age, while diastolic blood pressure remains unchanged or even decreases. Nowadays hypertension is a well established risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease among older people and its treatment is considered mandatory. The general recommended blood pressure goal in uncomplicated hypertension is less than 140/90 mmHg, even if this target in older people is based mainly on expert opinion. All patients should receive nonpharmacological treatment, in particular reduction in excess body weight when body mass index is greater than 26 kg/m2 and dietary salt restriction. Older patients with hypertension may also benefit from smoking cessation, physical activity and alcohol restriction. In relation to drug therapy, a low-dose thiazide diuretic could be a good first step. Other first-line drugs are long-acting calcium channel blockers, generally dihydropyridines, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers. The HYVET study showed a specific protective effect of indapamide with or without perindopril in people older than 80 years. Since monotherapy normalizes blood pressure in only 40–50% of cases, a combination of two or more drugs is often required. Moreover the addiction of a second drug may reduce the dose-related adverse effects of the first one. Finally, compliance with treatment should always be achieved by giving complete information to patients and simplifying the drug regimen as much as possible.
doi:10.1177/2040622312452189
PMCID: PMC3539267  PMID: 23342238
elderly; hypertension; indapamide; perindopril; treatment
5.  Dehydrogenation of the Indoline-Containing Drug, Indapamide, by CYP3A4: Correlation with in silico Predictions 
Indapamide, an indoline-containing diuretic drug, has recently been evaluated in a large Phase III clinical trial (ADVANCE) with a fixed-dose combination of an angiotension converting enzyme inhibitor, perindopril, and demonstrated to significantly reduce the risks of major vascular toxicities in type 2 diabetics. The original metabolic studies of indapamide reported that the indoline functional group was aromatized to indole through a dehydrogenation pathway by cytochrome P450s. However, the enzymatic efficiency of indapamide dehydrogenation was not elucidated. A consequence of indoline aromatization is that the product indoles might have dramatically different therapeutic potencies. Thus, studies that characterize dehydrogenation of the functional indoline of indapamide were needed. Here we identified several indapamide metabolic pathways in vitro with human liver microsomes and recombinant CYP3A4 that include the dehydrogenation of indapamide to its corresponding indole form, and also hydroxylation and epoxidation metabolites, as characterized by LC/MS. Indapamide dehydrogenation efficiency (Vmax/Km = 204 min−1•mM−1) by CYP3A4 was approximately 10-fold greater than that of indoline dehydrogenation. In silico molecular docking of indapamide into two CYP3A4 crystal structures, to evaluate the active site parameters that control dehydrogenation, produced conflicting results about the interactions of Arg 212 with indapamide in the active site. These conflicting theories were addressed by functional studies with a CYP3A4R212A mutant enzyme, which showed that Arg 212 does not appear to facilitate positioning of indapamide for dehydrogenation. However, the metabolites of indapamide were precisely consistent with in silico predictions of binding orientations, using three diverse computer methods to predict drug metabolism pathways.
doi:10.1124/dmd.108.022707
PMCID: PMC2645476  PMID: 19074530
6.  Ambulatory blood pressure in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy: efficacy of first-line combination perindopril/indapamide therapy 
Background
Ambulatory blood pressure (BP) is more sensitive than office BP and is highly correlated with the left ventricular mass (LVM) of hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).
Methods
In this prospectively designed ancillary study of the PICXEL trial, the effects of first-line combination perindopril/indapamide on ambulatory BP were compared with those of monotherapy with enalapril in 127 patients. Hypertensive patients with LVH received once daily either perindopril 2 mg/indapamide 0.625 mg (n = 65) or enalapril 10 mg (n = 62) for 52 weeks. Dose adjustments were allowed for uncontrolled BP. Twenty-four-hour ambulatory BP and echocardiographic parameters were measured at baseline, week 24, and week 52.
Results
At study end, both treatments significantly improved ambulatory BP compared with baseline (p ≤ 0.01). Perindopril/indapamide treatment reduced 24-hour and daytime systolic BP (SBP) and pulse pressure (PP) significantly more than enalapril treatment (p < 0.01). No significant between-group differences were noted for diastolic BP (DBP) or for night-time measurements. Trough/peak ratios were higher with perindopril/indapamide than with enalapril (88.5 vs 65.8 for SBP and 86.7 vs 63.9 for DBP, respectively). The global smoothness index was higher with perindopril/indapamide than with enalapril (6.6 vs 5.2 for SBP and 5.6 vs 4.9 for DBP, respectively). With perindopril/indapamide treatment, LVM index was significantly reduced (−9.1 g/m2 from baseline; p vs baseline <0.001). More patients required dose increases with enalapril (87%) than with perindopril/indapamide (71%). No unusual safety elements were noted.
Conclusions
First-line perindopril/indapamide combination decreased ambulatory SBP and PP, and LVM more effectively than enalapril.
PMCID: PMC2291338  PMID: 17969366
left ventricular hypertrophy; ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; perindopril; indapamide; enalapril
7.  Which thiazide to choose as add-on therapy for hypertension? 
Combined therapy is required in the majority of patients with hypertension to achieve blood pressure (BP) targets. Although different antihypertensive drugs can be combined, not all combinations are equally effective and safe. In this context, the combination of a renin angiotensin system inhibitor with a diuretic, usually a thiazide, particularly hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) or thiazide-like diuretics, such as chlorthalidone or indapamide, is recommended. However, not all diuretics are equal. Although HCTZ, chlorthalidone, and indapamide as add-on therapy effectively reduce BP levels, the majority of studies have obtained greater BP reductions with chlorthalidone or indapamide than with HCTZ. Moreover, there are data showing benefits with chlorthalidone or indapamide beyond BP. Thus, chlorthalidone seems to have pleiotropic effects beyond BP reduction. Moreover, compared with placebo, chlorthalidone has small effects on fasting glucose and total cholesterol, and compared with HCTZ, chlorthalidone achieves significantly lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Similarly, indapamide has demonstrated no negative impact on glucose or lipid metabolism. More importantly, although head-to-head clinical trials comparing the effects of indapamide or chlorthalidone with HCTZ are not available, indirect comparisons and post hoc analyses suggest that the use of chlorthalidone or indapamide is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular events. Despite this, the most frequent diuretic used in clinical practice as add-on therapy for hypertension is HCTZ. The purpose of this review is to update the published data on the efficacy and safety of HCTZ, chlorthalidone, and indapamide as add-on therapy in patients with hypertension.
doi:10.2147/IBPC.S40248
PMCID: PMC4142573  PMID: 25161365
blood pressure control; hydrochlorothiazide; thiazide-like diuretics; chlorthalidone; indapamide; combined therapy
8.  Hypertension in the Elderly 
Background. The incidence of hypertension in the Western countries is continuously increasing in the elderly population and remains the leading cause of cardiovascular and morbidity. Methods. we analysed some significant clinical trials in order to present the relevant findings on those hypertensive population. Results. Several studies (SYST-EUR, HYVET, CONVINCE, VALUE, etc.) have demonstrated the benefits of treatment (nitrendipine, hydrochrotiazyde, perindopril, indapamide, verapamil, or valsartan) in aged hypertensive patients not only concerning blood pressure values but also the other important risk factors. Conclusion. Hypertension is the most prevalent cardiovascular disorder in the Western countries, and the relevance of receiving pharmacological treatment of hypertension in aged patients is crucial; in addition, the results suggest that combination therapy—nitrendipine plus enalapril—could have more benefits than those observed with the use of nitrendipine alone.
doi:10.1155/2012/859176
PMCID: PMC3157758  PMID: 21876789
9.  Blood pressure normalization by fixed perindopril/indapamide combination in hypertensive patients with or without associate metabolic syndrome: results of the OPTIMAX 2 study 
The aim of the observational pharmaco-epidemiological study Optimax II was to seek whether the pre-existence of a metabolic syndrome (MS) defined by the NCEP-ATP III criteria impacts blood pressure (BP) control in hypertensive patients receiving a fixed perindopril/indapamide combination therapy. The primary objective of the study was to compare in patients with and without MS the rate of BP control defined as a systolic BP ≤140 mmHg and a diastolic BP ≤90 mmHg. Patients were prospectively included and the follow-up lasted 6 months. The study population consisted of 24,069 hypertensive patients (56% men; mean age 62 ± 11 years; 18% diabetics; mean BP at inclusion 162 ± 13/93 ± 9 mmHg). MS was found in 30.4% of the patients (n = 7322): 35.2% women and 20.1% men. Three therapeutic subgroups were constituted: Group A, previously untreated, received the combination therapy as initial treatment; Group B, previously treated but with unsatisfactory results and/or treatment intolerance, had its previous treatment switched to perindopril/indapamide; and Group C, previously treated, with good treatment tolerance but uncontrolled BP, received the study treatment in adjunction to the previous one. The normalization rate was 70.3% in group A, 68.4% in Group B, and 64.1% in Group C (p < 0.0001). The pre-existence of MS did not show any significant influence on these rates since BP lowering was −22.7 ± 13.7 (SBP) and −12.0 ± 10.0 mmHg (DBP) in patients without MS and −22.6 ± 13.3 (SBP) and −12.1 ± 9.7 (DBP) in those with MS. The results of this study show a significant effect of perindopril/indapamide treatment on systolic BP lowering, whatever the treatment status: initiation, switch, or adjunctive therapy, and independently from the presence or not of MS. This effect may be related to the specific vascular effect of the perindopril/indapamide combination, which has recently demonstrated in the ADVANCE trial its ability to reduce mortality, and cardiovascular and renal complications in diabetic patients.
PMCID: PMC2496983  PMID: 18561520
hypertension; metabolic syndrome; combination therapy; antihypertensive efficacy
10.  Leisure Physical Activity and the Risk of Fracture in Men 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(6):e199.
Background
Data from previous studies are inconsistent, and it is therefore uncertain whether, to what extent, and at what level leisure physical activity influences the risk of osteoporotic fractures in men.
Methods and Findings
A cohort of 2,205 men, 49–51 y of age, was enrolled in a longitudinal, population-based study. Leisure physical activity and other lifestyle habits were established at baseline and at ages 60, 70, 77, and 82 y. During 35 y of follow-up, 482 men had at least one fracture. Cox's proportional hazards regression was used to determine hazard ratios (HRs) of fracture associated with time-dependent physical activity habits and covariates. Men with a sedentary lifestyle (HR 2.56, 95% confidence interval 1.55–4.24) or men who walked or bicycled only for pleasure (HR 1.61, 95% confidence interval 1.10–2.36) had an increased adjusted risk of hip fracture compared with men who participated in regular sports activities for at least 3 h/wk. At the end of follow-up, 8.4% of the men with a high physical activity, 13.3% of the men with a medium physical activity, and 20.5% of the men with a low physical activity had suffered a hip fracture. According to the estimation of population-attributable risk, one third of all hip fractures could be prevented by participation in regular sports activities. High activity also conferred a reduced overall fracture risk.
Conclusions
Our data indicate that regular sports activities can reduce the risk of fractures in older men.
From a large cohort study with 35 years of follow-up, Michaelsson and colleagues conclude that regular sport activities can reduce the risk of fractures in older men.
Editors' Summary
Background.
One of the hazards of old age is that the bones become less dense—and therefore weaker—so when an elderly person falls, the result is often a broken bone. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 y will break a bone because of this, and the consequences can be serious, particularly if the hip is broken. The thinning of bones, which is known as osteoporosis, does affect all people as they age, but the degree to which it occurs varies greatly between individuals. A priority area for medical research is finding ways in which osteoporosis can be reduced, with the aim of improving the lives of older people and reducing their risk of “osteoporotic fractures.” It is known that genetic and environmental factors can both play a part in how rapidly osteoporosis develops, but it is generally agreed that personal lifestyle factors are also important. Osteoporosis develops over many years; in most people bone density starts to decline after the age of about 30 y. Preventive action should therefore begin early.
Most research so far has focused on women, who are more at risk as the thinning of their bones increases after the menopause. (Indeed osteoporosis has sometimes been wrongly described as a “woman's disease.”) It is now accepted that women who are more physically active reduce the rate of decline in their bone density and, as a result, are less likely to break bones when they are elderly. There has been little research in men and the results have not been consistent.
Why Was This Study Done?
In order to provide better evidence as to whether men who do more physical activity have fewer osteoporotic fractures than those with lower activity levels, the researchers wanted to complete a study that was larger and was conducted over a longer period of time than previous research.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between 1970 and 1973, the researchers invited all those men living in Uppsala, Sweden, who were aged between 49 and 51 y to participate in a health survey. Most of them (2,205) agreed to do so. When the study began, they were asked questions about the amount of physical activity they took outside working hours. They were asked the same questions again when they were aged 60, 70, 77, and 82 y. A record was also kept of the number of fractures the men had suffered during the 35-y study period. (Although some of the men died before the end of the study, about half were still alive at the end.) On the basis of the answers to the questions on physical activity at the start of the study, the researchers divided the men into three categories: those whose lifestyle was considered to be “sedentary,” those whose leisure activities included some walking and cycling, and those who participated in sports for at least 3 h a week. These were referred to as the low, medium, and high activity groups. Over the 35-y period, 428 men had at least one fracture and 134 broke a hip, but there were big differences between the groups—20% of the low-activity men had fractures compared with 13% of those with medium activity and only 8% of those in the high-activity group. In particular, the chance of having a hip fracture was reduced by increased activity.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Taking exercise reduces the risk of an osteoporotic fracture. Participating in sports seems to be particularly effective; the researchers calculate that one-third of fractures could be prevented if men could be persuaded to take part in sports regularly. The researchers do note that the very best evidence always comes from studies where people are assigned at random to receive a particular “treatment” (in this case, it would be exercise) and are compared with others who did not receive the treatment. This is known as a “randomized controlled trial.” Such a trial would be difficult, if not impossible, to organize on this topic, and the approach adopted by the researchers, which is known as a “cohort study,” does provide very strong evidence. There are many other benefits from increased exercise (for example, in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes), and most governments are now promoting sports and other active leisure pursuits. This study adds further weight to support such policies.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040199.g002.
There are many free sources of information about osteoporosis on the Web, and many organizations exist to support people with the condition. For example, the National Osteoporosis Society (UK) has useful information about the condition
In the USA, there is the Nationtal Osteoporosis Foundation (USA)
The equivalent organization in Australia is Osteoporosis Australia
The UK National Health Service's NHS Direct Health Encyclopedia has an entry on osteoporosis
MedlinePlus is an excellent source of information
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040199
PMCID: PMC1892039  PMID: 17579509
11.  Hip Fracture Incidence in Relation to Age, Menopausal Status, and Age at Menopause: Prospective Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(11):e1000181.
Using data from the UK Million Women Study, Emily Banks and colleagues investigate the relationships between the incidence of hip fracture and a woman's age, menopausal status, and age at menopause.
Background
Bone mineral density is known to decrease rapidly after the menopause. There is limited evidence about the separate contributions of a woman's age, menopausal status and age at menopause to the incidence of hip fracture.
Methods and Findings
Over one million middle-aged women joined the UK Million Women Study in 1996–2001 providing information on their menopausal status, age at menopause, and other factors, which was updated, where possible, 3 y later. All women were registered with the UK National Health Service (NHS) and were routinely linked to information on cause-specific admissions to NHS hospitals. 561,609 women who had never used hormone replacement therapy and who provided complete information on menopausal variables (at baseline 25% were pre/perimenopausal and 75% postmenopausal) were followed up for a total of 3.4 million woman-years (an average 6.2 y per woman). During follow-up 1,676 (0.3%) were admitted to hospital with a first incident hip fracture. Among women aged 50–54 y the relative risk (RR) of hip fracture risk was significantly higher in postmenopausal than premenopausal women (adjusted RR 2.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22–4.04; p = 0.009); there were too few premenopausal women aged 55 y and over for valid comparisons. Among postmenopausal women, hip fracture incidence increased steeply with age (p<0.001), with rates being about seven times higher at age 70–74 y than at 50–54 y (incidence rates of 0.82 versus 0.11 per 100 women over 5 y). Among postmenopausal women of a given age there was no significant difference in hip fracture incidence between women whose menopause was due to bilateral oophorectomy compared to a natural menopause (adjusted RR 1.20, 95% CI 0.94–1.55; p = 0.15), and age at menopause had little, if any, effect on hip fracture incidence.
Conclusions
At around the time of the menopause, hip fracture incidence is about twice as high in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women, but this effect is short lived. Among postmenopausal women, age is by far the main determinant of hip fracture incidence and, for women of a given age, their age at menopause has, at most, a weak additional effect.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Anyone can break a hip but most hip fractures occur in elderly people. As people age, their bones gradually lose minerals and become less dense, which weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. Because women lose bone density faster than men as they age and because women constitute the majority of the elderly, three-quarters of hip fractures occur in women. Hip fractures can cause long-term health problems and premature death. Thus, although surgical repair of a broken hip usually only requires a hospital stay of about a week, a quarter of elderly people who were living independently before their fracture have to stay in a nursing home for at least a year after their injury and a fifth of elderly people who break a hip die within the year. Most hip fractures are caused by falls. Regular exercise to improve strength and balance combined with review of medicines (to reduce side effects and interactions), regular eye examinations, and the removal of fall hazards from the home can help to prevent hip fractures in elderly people.
Why Was This Study Done?
Bone density decreases very rapidly in women immediately after menopause—the time when menstruation permanently stops—and then continues to decrease more slowly with age. Most women have their menopause in their early 50s but menopause can occur in younger women. Early menopause is thought to be a risk factor for osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and fractures later in life but little is known about how menopause influences hip fracture risk as women age. In this prospective study (a type of study in which a group of people is followed for several years to see whether they develop a particular condition), the researchers investigate the incidence of hip fractures in relation to age, menopausal status, and age at menopause among the participants of the Million Women Study. This study, which recruited 1.3 million women aged 50–64 years who attended UK breast cancer screening clinics between 1996 and 2001, has been investigating how reproductive and lifestyle factors affect women's health.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
At enrollment and three years later, the study participants provided information about their menopausal status and other health and lifestyle factors likely to affect their fracture risk. From these data, the researchers identified more than half a million women who had never used hormone replacement therapy (which reduces fracture risk) and who had given complete information about their menopausal status. They then looked for statistical associations between the occurrence of a first hip fracture in these women over the next few years and their age, menopausal status, and age at menopause. Among women aged 50–54 years, postmenopausal women were twice as likely to have a hip fracture as premenopausal women. Among postmenopausal women, the incidence of hip fractures increased steeply with age and was seven times higher in 70–74-year olds than in 50–54-year olds. Women who had their menopause before age 45 had a slightly increased risk of hip fracture but any effect of age at menopause on the risk of hip fracture was small compared to the effect of age itself, and the slightly increased risk may have been due to other factors that could not be fully accounted for in the analysis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that around the time of menopause, although hip fractures are rare, the risk of a fracture in postmenopausal women is twice that in premenopausal women. The findings also show that among postmenopausal women, age is the major determinant of hip fracture risk and that for women of a given age, their age at menopause has little effect on hip fracture risk. Women attending breast cancer screening clinics and completing questionnaires about their health may not be representative of the general population. Furthermore, these findings rely on women self-reporting their menopausal status accurately. Nevertheless, the results of this study suggest that clinicians advising women about hip fracture prevention should probably base their advice on the woman's age and on age-related factors such as frailty rather than on factors related to menopause. Clinicians can also now reassure elderly women who had an early menopause that their risk of hip fracture is unlikely to be higher than that of similar women who had a later menopause.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000181.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has detailed information about hip fractures
The US National Institute of Arthritis and Muscoloskeletal and Skin Diseases has an interactive feature called “Check up on your bones and provides detailed information about osteoporosis, including advice on fall prevention
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a fact sheet about hip fractures among older adults
MedlinePlus has links to resources about hip fracture, osteoporosis, and menopause (in English and Spanish)
More information on the Million Women Study is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000181
PMCID: PMC2766835  PMID: 19901981
12.  A Review of Perindopril in the Reduction of Cardiovascular Events 
Background
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) have a well-established role in the prevention of cardiovascular events in hypertension, left ventricular dysfunction, and heart failure. More recently, ACEI have been shown to prevent cardiovascular events in individuals with increased cardiovascular risk, where hypertension, left ventricular dysfunction, or heart failure was not the primary indication for ACEI therapy.
Objective
To review studies of the effects of the ACEI perindopril on cardiovascular events.
Method
The EUROPA (European Trial on Reduction of Cardiac Events with Perindopril in Patients with Stable Coronary Artery Disease Study), PROGRESS (Perindopril Protection Against Recurrent Stroke Study), and ASCOT-BPLA (Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial – Blood Pressure Lowering Arm) trials are reviewed.
Results
Perindopril alone reduced cardiovascular events in subjects with stable coronary heart disease. Perindopril in combination with indapamide reduced cardiovascular events in subjects with cerebrovascular disease. Perindopril in combination with amlodipine reduced cardiovascular events in subjects with hypertension.
Conclusion
Perindopril reduced cardiovascular events. The reduction of cardiovascular events by perindopril was in large part associated with reduction of blood pressure, and greater reduction in cardiovascular events was associated with greater reduction of blood pressure. Perindopril may need to be combined with other antihypertensive agents to maximize reduction of cardiovascular events.
PMCID: PMC1993997  PMID: 17319455
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor; hypertension; coronary heart disease; stroke; myocardial infarction; heart failure
13.  Complementary mechanisms of action and rationale for the fixed combination of perindopril and indapamide in treating hypertension – update on clinical utility 
Although reducing blood pressure is the most important approach to reduce cardiovascular outcomes in the hypertensive population, the majority of patients fail to attain the targets. Most patients with hypertension need at least 2 antihypertensive agents to achieve blood pressure goals. The 2007 European hypertension guidelines state that combined therapy is needed when monotherapy does not attain blood pressure objectives and as a first-line treatment in high-risk patients. This point has been reinforced in the 2009 update of the European guidelines. The advantages of combination therapy are well documented with the potential for increased antihypertensive efficacy as a result of different mechanisms of action, and a lower incidence of adverse effects because of the lower doses used and the possible compensatory responses. Moreover, the use of fixed dose combinations are specially recommended as they facilitate treatment compliance. The inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system appears to be very beneficial in the treatment of patients with hypertension along the cardiovascular continuum and the combination of a renin-angiotensin system inhibitor and a diuretic is particularly recommended. Many clinical trials have demonstrated the benefits of the fixed combination perindopril/indapamide in the treatment of hypertension. The aim of this manuscript is to update the published data on the efficacy and safety of this fixed combination.
PMCID: PMC3172067  PMID: 21949617
fixed dose; combination therapy; angiotensin-converting enzyme; diuretic
14.  Effects of low-dose combination therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and a diuretic on flow-mediated vasodilation in hypertensive patients: a 6-month, single-center study☆ 
Background
Combination therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and a diuretic has been shown to be highly effective in hypertension. Clinical trials have demonstrated that ACE inhibitors may improve endothelial cell dysfunction in hypertension. However, the effectiveness of the combination treatment in endothelial cell dysfunction is unknown.
Objective
This study investigated the effects of a new low-dose combination, perindopril 2 mg plus indapamide 0.625 mg, on brachial artery flow–mediated vasodilation (FMD) and left ventricular diastolic function in hypertension.
Methods
Patients aged 18 to 75 with newly diagnosed stage I or II hypertension were eligible. Endothelium-dependent brachial artery FMD and endothelium-independent vasodilation were assessed at baseline. Patients were treated with oral perindopril 2 mg plus indapamide 0.625-mg tablets once daily for 6 months. FMD measurements were then repeated. Percentage changes in FMD from baseline to 6 months, as well as left ventricular diastolic function parameters (isovolumic relaxation time [IVRT] and mitral diastolic E-wave deceleration time [EDT]), indicated the effectiveness of the intervention.
Results
Twenty-nine Turkish patients were enrolled (17 women, 12 men; mean [SD] age, 54.5 [9.5] years [range, 38–75 years]). The mean (SD) baseline FMD was 7.00% (2.39%) (endothelial cell dysfunction) and increased significantly to 8.68% (2.78%) at 6 months (P = 0.02); FMD improved in 15 patients (51.7%). At baseline and 6 months of therapy, mean (SD) IVRT was 101.7 (12.4) ms and 95.5 (7.7) ms, respectively (P<0.001), and EDT was 234.7 (33.9) ms and 217.9 (25.6) ms, respectively (P<0.001).
Conclusions
In this small sample of hypertensive patients, a low-dose combination ACE inhibitor and diuretic significantly improved brachial artery FMD and left ventricular diastolic function. The improvement in FMD values was independent of the stage of hypertension. These findings suggest a relationship between improvement in endothelial cell function and diastolic function.
doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2003.11.005
PMCID: PMC4053063  PMID: 24944419
flow-mediated vasodilation; hypertension; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; diuretics
15.  Blood pressure normalization in a large population of hypertensive patients treated with perindopril/indapamide combination: results of the OPTIMAX trial 
Objective
To determine if the fixed-dose perindopril/indapamide combination (Per/Ind) normalizes blood pressure (BP) in the same fraction of hypertensive patients when treated in everyday practice or in controlled trials.
Methods
In this prospective trial, 17 938 hypertensive patients were treated with Per 2 mg/Ind 0.625 mg for 3–6 months. In Group 1 Per/Ind was initiated in newly diagnosed patients (n = 7032); in Group 2 Per/Ind replaced previous therapy in patients already treated but having either their BP still uncontrolled or experiencing side-effects (n = 7423); in Group 3 Per/Ind was added to previous treatment in patients with persistently high BP (n = 3483). BP was considered normalized when ≤ 140/90 mm Hg. A multivariate analysis for predictors of BP normalization was performed.
Results
Subjects were on average 62 years old and had a baseline BP of 162.3/93.6 mm Hg. After treatment with Per/Ind, BP normalization was reached in 69.6% of patients in the Initiation group, 67.5% in the Replacement Group, and 67.4% in the Add-on Group (where patients were more frequently at risk, diabetic, or with target organ damage). Mean decreases in systolic BP of 22.8 mm Hg and in diastolic BP of 12.4 mm Hg were recorded.
Conclusions
This trial was established to reflect everyday clinical practice, and a treatment strategy based on the Per/Ind combination, administered as initial, replacement, or add-on therapy, led to normalization rates that were superior to those observed in Europe in routine practice. These results support recent hypertension guidelines which encourage the use of combination therapy in the management of arterial hypertension.
PMCID: PMC1994035  PMID: 17583188
perindopril; indapamide; blood pressure normalization; risk factors; combination therapy
16.  Patients with femoral or distal forearm fracture in Germany: a prospective observational study on health care situation and outcome 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:87.
Background
Distal radius and proximal femoral fractures are typical injuries in later life, predominantly due to simple falls, but modulated by other relevant factors such as osteoporosis. Fracture incidence rates rise with age. Because of the growing proportion of elderly people in Western industrialized societies, the number of these fractures can be expected to increase further in the coming years, and with it the burden on healthcare resources. Our study therefore assessed the effects of these injuries on the health status of older people over time. The purpose of this paper is to describe the study method, clinical parameters of fracture patients during hospitalization, mortality up to one and a half years after discharge in relation to various factors such as type of fracture, and to describe changes in mobility and living situation.
Methods
Data were collected from all consecutive patients (no age limit) admitted to 423 hospitals throughout Germany with distal radius or femoral fractures (57% acute-care, femoral and forearm fractures; 43% rehabilitation, femoral fractures only) between January 2002 and September 2003. Polytrauma and coma patients were excluded. Demographic characteristics, exact fracture location, mobility and living situation, clinical and laboratory parameters were examined. Current health status was assessed in telephone interviews conducted on average 6–7 months after discharge. Where telephone contact could not be established, at least survival status (living/deceased/date of death) was determined.
Results
The study population consisted of 12,520 femoral fracture patients (86.8% hip fractures), average age 77.5 years, 76.5% female, and 2,031 forearm fracture patients, average age 67.6 years, 81.6% female. Women's average age was 6.6 (femoral fracture) to 10 years (forearm fracture) older than men's (p < 0.0001). Only 4.6% of femoral fracture patients experienced changes in their living situation post-discharge (53% because of the fracture event), although less than half of subjects who were able to walk without assistive devices prior to the fracture event (76.7%) could still do so at time of interview (34.9%). At time of interview, 1.5% of subjects were bed-ridden (0.2% before fracture). Forearm fracture patients reported no change in living situation at all. Of the femoral fracture patients 119 (0.95%), and of the forearm fracture patients 3 (0.15%) died during hospital stay. Post-discharge (follow-up one and a half years) 1,463 femoral fracture patients died (19.2% acute-care patients, 8.5% rehabilitation patients), but only 60 forearm fracture patients (3.0%). Ninety percent of femoral fracture deaths happened within the first year, approximately 66% within the first 6 months. More acute-care patients with a pertrochanteric fracture died within one year post-discharge (20.6%) than patients with a cervical fracture (16.1%).
Conclusion
Mortality after proximal femoral fracture is still alarmingly high and highest after pertrochanteric fracture. Although at time of interview more than half of femoral fracture patients reported reduced mobility, most patients (96%) attempt to live at home. Since forearm fracture patients were on average 10 years younger than femoral fracture patients, forearm fractures may be a means of diagnosing an increased risk of later hip fractures.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-87
PMCID: PMC1526725  PMID: 16594996
17.  Formulation and Quality Determination of Indapamide Matrix Tablet: A Thiazide Type Antihypertensive Drug 
Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin  2013;4(2):191-195.
Purpose: The present study was explored to develop a sustained release matrix tablet of Indapamide, a low-dose thiazide-type diuretic, using hydroxylpropyl methylcellulose (Methocel K15MCR) in various proportions as release controlling factor.
Methods: The tablets were formulated using direct compression method. The powers for tableting were evaluated for angle of response, loose bulk density, tapped bulk density, compressibility index, total porosity and drug content etc. The tablets were subjected to thickness, weight variation test, drug content, hardness, friability, and in vitro dissolution studies.
Results: The granules showed satisfactory flow properties, compressibility index, and drug content. All the formulated tablets complies pharmacopoeia specifications. The release kinetics of the drug decreased exponentially with the addition of polymer concentration. Indapamide release rate was observed to be the highest with the lowest concentration of polymer used. The release mechanism was explored with zero order, first order, Higuchi and Krosmeyer equations. Stability tests of the drug showed no notable changes in the rate of drug release, related substances and drug content.
Conclusion: In the context, it can be suggested that this formulation of sustained release Indapamide tablets can be marketed to treat patients with hypertension ensuring proper healthcare.
doi:10.5681/apb.2014.028
PMCID: PMC3915820  PMID: 24511484
Higuchi equation; Hypertension; Indapamide; Polymer; Sustained Release Tablet
18.  The Risk of Fractures Associated with Thiazolidinediones: A Self-controlled Case-Series Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(9):e1000154.
Ian Douglas and colleagues analyze records from the UK General Practice Research Database, and find that among individuals prescribed thiazolidinediones who develop a fracture, fractures are more common during periods of thiazolidinedione exposure than unexposed periods.
Background
The results of clinical trials have suggested that the thiazolidinedione antidiabetic agents rosiglitazone and pioglitazone are associated with an increased risk of fractures, but such studies had limited power. The increased risk in these trials appeared to be limited to women and mainly involved fractures of the arm, wrist, hand, or foot: risk patterns that could not be readily explained. Our objective was to further investigate the risk of fracture associated with thiazolidinedione use.
Methods and Findings
The self-controlled case-series design was used to compare rates of fracture during thiazolidinedione exposed and unexposed periods and thus estimate within-person rate ratios. We used anonymised primary care data from the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database (GPRD). All patients aged 40 y or older with a recorded fracture and at least one prescription for a thiazolidinedione were included (n = 1,819). We found a within-person rate ratio of 1.43 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25–1.62) for fracture at any site comparing exposed with unexposed periods among patients prescribed any thiazolidinedione. This association was similar in men and women and in patients treated with either rosiglitazone or pioglitazone. The increased risk was also evident at a range of fracture sites, including hip, spine, arm, foot, wrist, or hand. The risk increased with increasing duration of thiazolidinedione exposure: rate ratio 2.00 (95% CI 1.48–2.70) for 4 y or more of exposure.
Conclusion
Within individuals who experience a fracture, fracture risk is increased during periods of exposure to thiazolidinediones (both rosiglitazone and pioglitazone) compared with unexposed periods. The increased risk is observed in both men and women and at a range of fracture sites. The risk also increases with longer duration of use.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, nearly 250 million people have diabetes and this number is increasing rapidly, particularly in developing countries. Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by dangerous amounts of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood-sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone that the pancreas releases when blood-sugar levels rise after eating (the digestion of food produces glucose). Blood-sugar control fails in people with diabetes because they make no insulin (type 1 diabetes) or because the fat cells and muscle cells that usually respond to insulin by removing sugar from the blood have become insulin insensitive (type 2 diabetes). Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections; type 2 diabetes—the most common type of diabetes—is controlled with diet, exercise, and antidiabetic pills, drugs that help the pancreas make more insulin (for example, sulfonylureas) or that make cells more sensitive to insulin (for example, thiazolidinediones). Long-term complications of diabetes include kidney failure, blindness, and nerve damage, and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems, including heart disease and strokes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Thiazolidinediones are widely used to treat type 2 diabetes but, worryingly, these drugs seem to increase people's risk of developing cardiovascular problems. In addition, they may increase the risk of bone fractures although the evidence for this particular association is limited. Given the large number of people with diabetes, it is important to understand the benefits and risks of thiazolidinedione treatment of diabetes as fully as possible. In this self-controlled case-series study, therefore, the researchers investigate the risk of fracture associated with the use of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone (two thiazolidinedione antidiabetic agents). A “self-controlled case-series study” compares how often an event (in this case, a fracture) occurs (the event's “rate”) in a population of individuals during a period of time when the individuals are not exposed to a medical intervention (in this case, treatment with thiazolidinediones) to its rate during a period when they are exposed to the intervention. Because each person acts as their own control, this study design helps to eliminate the possibility that unrecognized characteristics that vary between people (“confounders”) are responsible for differences in the event rate rather than the intervention itself.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 1,819 people aged 40 years or older with a recorded fracture and at least one prescription for a thiazolidinedione by searching the UK General Practice Research Database, which contains personal and health data for more than 6 million UK residents. They compared these people's fracture rate during periods when they were taking a thiazolidinedione to their fracture rate when they weren't taking one of these drugs. After adjusting for age (age is a potential confounder because the risk of fractures increases with age and all the patients were older during their exposed period than during their unexposed period), the rate ratio for fracture at any site in patients during thiazolidinedione-exposed periods compared with thiazolidinedione-unexposed periods was 1.43. That is, nearly one and half times as many fractures occurred when people were taking thiazolidinediones than when they were not taking these drugs. The association between taking thiazolidinediones and the risk of fracture was similar in men and women and at several fracture sites but increased with the length of thiazolidinedione exposure.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that taking thiazolidinediones is associated with an increased risk of fracture at a wide range of sites in both men and women. They also suggest that the risk of fracture increases with treatment duration. These findings do not prove that thiazolidinediones cause fractures because, despite the self-controlled case-series design of this study, it remains possible that the people who have fractures share some unknown characteristic that affects their chances of breaking a bone. The accuracy of the findings is also dependent on the quality of the data in the General Practice Research Database. Nonetheless, these results are in keeping with the findings of clinical trials and other observational studies, suggesting they represent a real effect of treatment with thiazolidinediones. Although it is not clear yet how thiazolidinediones weaken bones, these findings need to be included in the ongoing debate about the risks and benefits of the treatment of type 2 diabetes with thiazolidinediones.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000154.
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about all aspects of diabetes
The US National Diabetes Information ClearingHouse provides detailed information about diabetes (including information on medicines for diabetes) for patients, health-care professionals, and the general public (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service also provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes (in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes medicines (in English and Spanish)
Information about the UK General Practice Research Database and about the self-controlled case-series method is available
More information is available where the research was done at The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000154
PMCID: PMC2741577  PMID: 19787025
19.  Blood pressure control and acceptability of Perindopril and its fixed dose combinations with Amlodipine or Indapamide, in younger patients with hypertension 
Indian Heart Journal  2014;66(6):635-639.
Objective
Recent hypertension guidelines recommend initiation of treatment with a fixed dose combination of two drugs for more effective and quicker blood pressure control. Few of these have been assessed for efficacy and acceptability. This study examines the short term blood pressure control and acceptability of perindopril, with or without its fixed dose combinations (FDC) with amlodipine and Indapamide in younger patients.
Methods
In a multicentre prospective observational study, patients with stage 1 hypertension were prescribed perindopril 4 mg per day. Those with stage 2 or 3 hypertension were prescribed a single tablet per day of 4 mg perindopril and 5 mg amlodipine (COVERSYL AM), or 4 mg perindopril and 1.25 mg indapamide (COVERSYL PLUS)for 45 days. The primary outcomes were the frequency of patients achieving blood pressure control and the adverse effect of pedal edema.
Results
Of 426 patients, with a mean age of 45 years, distributed throughout India, and an average (SD) baseline systolic/diastolic blood pressure of 157.2 (13.5)/98.6 (7.4), 303 (71.1%) achieved blood pressure control. Mean (SD) SBP/DBP decreased from baseline by 26.9 (12.6), and DBP by 15.4 (7.2) mm Hg. Few patients discontinued treatment, and the frequency of cough that interfered with sleep and ankle edema was low.
Conclusion
In patients requiring combination antihypertensive treatment, the regimen of perindopril alone or its FDC with Indapamide or amlodipine reduces blood pressure effectively, resulting in high rates of blood pressure control over the short term, with a low frequency of side effects including cough and pedal edema.
doi:10.1016/j.ihj.2014.10.419
PMCID: PMC4310951  PMID: 25634398
Hypertension; FDC; Indapamide; Amlodipine
20.  School Playground Surfacing and Arm Fractures in Children: A Cluster Randomized Trial Comparing Sand to Wood Chip Surfaces 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(12):e1000195.
In a randomized trial of elementary schools in Toronto, Andrew Howard and colleagues show that granitic sand playground surfaces reduce the risk of arm fractures from playground falls when compared with wood fiber surfaces.
Background
The risk of playground injuries, especially fractures, is prevalent in children, and can result in emergency room treatment and hospital admissions. Fall height and surface area are major determinants of playground fall injury risk. The primary objective was to determine if there was a difference in playground upper extremity fracture rates in school playgrounds with wood fibre surfacing versus granite sand surfacing. Secondary objectives were to determine if there were differences in overall playground injury rates or in head injury rates in school playgrounds with wood fibre surfacing compared to school playgrounds with granite sand surfacing.
Methods and Findings
The cluster randomized trial comprised 37 elementary schools in the Toronto District School Board in Toronto, Canada with a total of 15,074 students. Each school received qualified funding for installation of new playground equipment and surfacing. The risk of arm fracture from playground falls onto granitic sand versus onto engineered wood fibre surfaces was compared, with an outcome measure of estimated arm fracture rate per 100,000 student-months. Schools were randomly assigned by computer generated list to receive either a granitic sand or an engineered wood fibre playground surface (Fibar), and were not blinded. Schools were visited to ascertain details of the playground and surface actually installed and to observe the exposure to play and to periodically monitor the depth of the surfacing material. Injury data, including details of circumstance and diagnosis, were collected at each school by a prospective surveillance system with confirmation of injury details through a validated telephone interview with parents and also through collection (with consent) of medical reports regarding treated injuries. All schools were recruited together at the beginning of the trial, which is now closed after 2.5 years of injury data collection. Compliant schools included 12 schools randomized to Fibar that installed Fibar and seven schools randomized to sand that installed sand. Noncompliant schools were added to the analysis to complete a cohort type analysis by treatment received (two schools that were randomized to Fibar but installed sand and seven schools that were randomized to sand but installed Fibar). Among compliant schools, an arm fracture rate of 1.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04–6.9) per 100,000 student-months was observed for falls into sand, compared with an arm fracture rate of 9.4 (95% CI 3.7–21.4) for falls onto Fibar surfaces (p≤0.04905). Among all schools, the arm fracture rate was 4.5 (95% CI 0.26–15.9) per 100,000 student-months for falls into sand compared with 12.9 (95% CI 5.1–30.1) for falls onto Fibar surfaces. No serious head injuries and no fatalities were observed in either group.
Conclusions
Granitic sand playground surfaces reduce the risk of arm fractures from playground falls when compared with engineered wood fibre surfaces. Upgrading playground surfacing standards to reflect this information will prevent arm fractures.
Trial Registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN02647424
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Playgrounds and outdoor play equipment provide children with a place to let steam off, play creatively, socialize, and learn new skills. And, in a world where childhood obesity is a burgeoning problem, playgrounds provide a place where children can be encouraged to exercise. But playgrounds are not without hazards. Even in well-maintained and well-run facilities, children can hurt themselves by falling off climbing frames, monkey bars, and other equipment or by falling from standing height during playground games such as tag. In the US alone, more than 200,000 children are treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in playgrounds every year and about 6,400 children are admitted to hospitals because of playground injuries, most of which are bone fractures (broken bones). In fact, playground injuries in the US are more severe and have a higher hospital admission rate than any other sort of child injury except those involving vehicles.
Why Was This Study Done?
Children who fall off playground equipment are nearly four times as likely to break a bone (often in an arm) as children who fall from standing height. To reduce the number of fractures that occur in playgrounds, some governments have limited the height of playground equipment. Some have also set standards for the type of surfaces installed in playgrounds and for the depth of sand or engineered wood fiber in loose fill surfaces. These standards are based on laboratory tests in which headforms (artificial heads) are dropped onto surfaces. However, these tests provide no information about the ability of different surfaces to prevent broken arms and other specific injuries in the real world. In this cluster randomized trial (a study in which groups of people are randomly assigned to receive different interventions), the researchers compare the rates of arm fractures in elementary (primary) school playgrounds in Toronto (Canada) that have wood fiber surfacing with the rates in playgrounds that have granite sand surfacing.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly assigned 37 elementary schools that had qualified for school board funding for replacement playground equipment to receive either wood fiber (19 schools) or granite sand surfacing (18 schools) in their playgrounds. 19 of the schools complied with their randomization (12 installed fiber and seven installed sand); two schools installed sand although they were randomized to install fiber and seven schools installed fiber instead of sand. The researchers evaluated the playgrounds and their surfaces several times during the 2.5-year study and collected data on how playground injuries happened and types of injuries from the schools, parents, and medical reports. Among the schools that complied with randomization, falls from height into sand resulted in 1.9 arm fractures per 100,000 student-months whereas falls into fiber resulted in 9.4 arm fractures per 100,000 student-months. Arm fracture rates and other injury rates were also higher for falls from height into fiber than into sand when all the schools that had installed new surfaces were considered. However, the rates of arm fracture and other injuries that did not involve a fall from height did not vary between surfaces.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The accuracy of these findings is limited by the small number of arm fractures that occurred during the trial—only 20 children who fell into fiber and two who fell into sand broke an arm. The accuracy of the findings may also be limited by the failure of many schools to comply with randomization although the researchers found no obvious differences between the schools that did and did not comply with randomization that might have affected the trial's outcome. However, even with these limitations, the findings of this real-world study indicate that granitic sand surfaces substantially reduce the risk of arm fractures and other injuries caused by falls from playground equipment when compared with wood fiber surfaces. Thus, because falls from playground equipment are more likely to cause a fracture than falls from standing height, if playground surfacing standards are adjusted to reflect the findings of this study (that is, if sand surfaces are recommended in preference to wood fiber surfaces), many arm fractures in children should be prevented.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at ttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000195.
Safe Kids Canada provides information about playground safety and other aspects of childhood safety (in English and French)
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury (in English and Spanish)
The Nemours Foundation, a nonprofit organization for child health, provides information for parents on playground safety
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents provides information on the safety of indoor and outdoor play areas
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides fact sheets on playground injuries
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission also has information on playground safety, including resources designed for children such as The Further Adventures of Kidd Safety and Little Big Kids, a booklet on play safety written by children for children
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000195
PMCID: PMC2784292  PMID: 20016688
21.  Combination therapy of hypertension in the elderly: a subgroup analysis of the Combination of OLMesartan and a calcium channel blocker or diuretic in Japanese elderly hypertensive patients trial 
Hypertension Research  2014;38(1):89-96.
Combination of OLMesartan and a calcium channel blocker or a diuretic in Japanese elderly hypertensive patients (COLM) trial demonstrated that olmesartan combinations with a CCB or diuretic have similar effects on reducing cardiovascular risk in elderly hypertensive patients. However, the safety profiles suggest that olmesartan combined with CCB may be preferable to olmesartan combined with diuretic. In this subgroup analysis, we further evaluated the effects and safety of these combinations in elderly (65–74 years old (y.o.)) and very elderly (75–84 y.o.) hypertensive patients. In the COLM trial, 5141 patients (2918 elderly and 2223 very elderly) were randomly assigned to receive olmesartan-based therapy with either CCB or diuretic. The hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals, respectively, in the elderly age group and in the very elderly group were: 1.04 (0.72–1.50; olmesartan plus CCB vs. olmesartan plus diuretic, P=0.85) and 0.71 (0.51–0.99, P=0.045) for the primary composite end point, and 1.07 (0.67–1.72, P=0.77) and 0.64 (0.42–0.98, P=0.036) for the composite of hard end points. The hazard ratios for stroke (fatal and non-fatal) were 1.48 (0.88–2.48; olmesartan plus CCB vs. olmesartan plus diuretic, P=0.13) and 0.63 (0.39–1.02, P=0.059) (interaction-P=0.019). Withdrawal rates from the trial, withdrawal due to serious adverse event and the incidence of any adverse event were higher in the olmesartan plus diuretic group than in the olmesartan plus CCB group in both age groups. In conclusion, angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) and CCB combination may be preferable to an ARB and diuretic combination in the very elderly hypertensive patients for the reduction of cardiovascular risk, particularly for the reduction in stroke risk.
doi:10.1038/hr.2014.144
PMCID: PMC4287656  PMID: 25253583
calcium channel blocker; combination therapy; diuretic; elderly hypertension; olmesartan
22.  The Effects of Mandatory Prescribing of Thiazides for Newly Treated, Uncomplicated Hypertension: Interrupted Time-Series Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(7):e232.
Background
The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of a new reimbursement rule for antihypertensive medication that made thiazides mandatory first-line drugs for newly treated, uncomplicated hypertension. The objective of the new regulation was to reduce drug expenditures.
Methods and Findings
We conducted an interrupted time-series analysis on prescribing data before and after the new reimbursement rule for antihypertensive medication was put into effect. All patients started on antihypertensive medication in 61 general practices in Norway were included in the analysis. The new rule was put forward by the Ministry of Health and was approved by parliament. Adherence to the rule was monitored only minimally, and there were no penalties for non-adherence. Our primary outcome was the proportion of thiazide prescriptions among all prescriptions made for persons started on antihypertensive medication. Secondary outcomes included the proportion of patients who, within 4 mo, reached recommended blood-pressure goals and the proportion of patients who, within 4 mo, were not started on a second antihypertensive drug. We also compared drug costs before and after the intervention. During the baseline period, 10% of patients started on antihypertensive medication were given a thiazide prescription. This proportion rose steadily during the transition period, after which it remained stable at 25%. For other outcomes, no statistically significant differences were demonstrated. Achievement of treatment goals was slightly higher (56.6% versus 58.4%) after the new rule was introduced, and the prescribing of a second drug was slightly lower (24.0% versus 21.8%). Drug costs were reduced by an estimated Norwegian kroner 4.8 million (€0.58 million, US$0.72 million) in the first year, which is equivalent to Norwegian kroner 1.06 per inhabitant (€0.13, US$0.16).
Conclusions
Prescribing of thiazides in Norway for uncomplicated hypertension more than doubled after a reimbursement rule requiring the use of thiazides as the first-choice therapy was put into effect. However, the resulting savings on drug expenditures were modest. There were no significant changes in the achievement of treatment goals or in the prescribing of a second antihypertensive drug.
Atle Fretheim and colleagues found that the prescribing of thiazides in Norway for uncomplicated hypertension more than doubled after a rule requiring their use as first-choice therapy was put into effect.
Editors' Summary
Background.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common medical condition, especially among elderly people. It has no obvious symptoms but can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, or kidney failure. It is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure—the force that blood moving around the body exerts on the inside of arteries (large blood vessels). Many factors affect blood pressure (which depends on the amount of blood being pumped round the body and on the size and condition of the arteries), but overweight people and individuals who eat fatty or salty food are at high risk of developing hypertension. Mild hypertension can often be corrected by making lifestyle changes, but many patients also take one or more antihypertensive agents. These include thiazide diuretics and several types of non-thiazide drugs, many of which reduce heart rate or contractility and/or dilate blood vessels.
Why Was This Study Done?
Antihypertensive agents are a major part of national drug expenditure in developed countries, where as many as one person in ten is treated for hypertension. The different classes of drugs are all effective, but their cost varies widely. Thiazides, for example, are a tenth of the price of many non-thiazide drugs. In Norway, the low use of thiazides recently led the government to impose a new reimbursement rule aimed at reducing public expenditure on antihypertensive drugs. Since March 2004, family doctors have been reimbursed for drug costs only if they prescribe thiazides as first-line therapy for uncomplicated hypertension, unless there are medical reasons for selecting other drugs. Adherence to the rule has not been monitored, and there is no penalty for non-adherence, so has this intervention changed prescribing practices? To find out, the researchers in this study analyzed Norwegian prescribing data before and after the new rule came into effect.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed the monthly antihypertensive drug–prescribing records of 61 practices around Oslo, Norway, between January 2003 and November 2003 (pre-intervention period), between December 2003 and February 2004 (transition period), and between March 2004 and January 2005 (post-intervention period). This type of study is called an “interrupted time series”. During the pre-intervention period, one in ten patients starting antihypertensive medication was prescribed a thiazide drug. This proportion gradually increased during the transition period before stabilizing at one in four patients throughout the post-intervention period. A slightly higher proportion of patients reached their recommended blood-pressure goal after the rule was introduced than before, and a slightly lower proportion needed to switch to a second drug class, but both these small differences may have been due to chance. Finally, the researchers estimated that the observed change in prescribing practices reduced drug costs per Norwegian by US$0.16 (€0.13) in the first year.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Past attempts to change antihypertensive-prescribing practices by trying to influence family doctors (for example, through education) have largely failed. By contrast, these findings suggest that imposing a change on them (in this case, by introducing a new reimbursement rule) can be effective (at least over the short term and in the practices included in the study), even when compliance with the change is not monitored nor noncompliance penalized. However, despite a large shift towards prescribing thiazides, three-quarters of patients were still prescribed non-thiazide drugs (possibly because of doubts about the efficacy of thiazides as first-line drugs), which emphasizes how hard it is to change doctors' prescribing habits. Further studies are needed to investigate whether the approach examined in this study can effectively contain the costs of antihypertensive drugs (and of drugs used for other common medical conditions) in the long term and in other settings. Also, because the estimated reduction in drug costs produced by the intervention was relatively modest (although likely to increase over time as more patients start on thiazides), other ways to change prescribing practices and produce savings in national drug expenditures should be investigated.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040232.
MedlinePlus encyclopedia page on hypertension (in English and Spanish)
UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence information on hypertension for patients, carers, and professionals
American Heart Association information for patients on high blood pressure
An open-access research article describing the potential savings of using thiazides as the first-choice antihypertensive drug
A previous study in Norway, published in PLoS Medicine, examined what happened when doctors were actively encouraged to make more use of thiazides. There was also an economic evaluation of what this achieved
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040232
PMCID: PMC1904466  PMID: 17622192
23.  Role of transforming growth factor-β2 in, and apossible transforming growth factor-β2 gene polymorphism as a marker of, renal dysfunction in essential hypertension: A study in Turkish patients 
Background:
Many studies have shown that transforming growth factor(TGF)-β has a major role in renal scarring in many renal diseases and hypertension.
Objectives:
The primary aim of this study was to investigate both the relationship between hypertension and serum and urinary levels of TGF-β2 (a more sensitive isoform for glomeruli than TGF-β1), and the effects of combination therapy with perindopril + indapamide on microalbuminuria, which becomes an early indicator of hypertensive benign nephropathy, and serum and urinary TGF-β2 levels in patients with mild to moderate essential hypertension. In addition, we examined the possible relationship between TGF-β2 gene polymorphism and essential hypertension.
Methods:
This study was conducted at the Department of Nephrology, Medical Faculty, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey. Patients aged ≥18 years with newly diagnosed mild to moderate essential hypertension (systolic/diastolic blood pressure [SBP/DBP] >120/>80 mm Hg) who had not previously received antihypertensive treatment were included in the study. Patients with stage I hypertension received perindopril 2 mg + indapamide 0.625 mg (tablet), and patients with stage lI hypertension received perindopril 4 mg + indapamide 1.125 mg (tablet). All study drugs were given OD (morning) PO with food for 6 months. Serum and urinary TGF-β2 and creatinine levels and serum and urinary albumin levels were measured before and after perindopril + indapamide administration. Amplified DNA fragments of the TGF-β2 primer region were screened using amplification refractory mutation system polymerase chain reaction analysis, and the number of ACA repeats was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Genetic studies were performed using a commercial TGF-β2 kit.
Results:
Forty patients were enrolled in the study, and 38 patients (27 women, 11 men; mean [SD] age, 46.3 [6.5] years) completed it. SBP and DBP were significantly decreased from baseline with perindopril/indapamide (both, P < 0.001). Microalbuminuria and urinary TGF-β2 levels also decreased significantly from baseline (P = 0.04 and P < 0.001, respectively), whereas the serum TGF-β2 level did not change significantly. Three patients, all of whom were found to have TGF-β2 gene mutations, had increased urinary TGF-β2 levels despite good blood pressure control.
Conclusions:
The results of this study in patients with mild to moderate hypertension suggest that, despite good clinical control of blood pressure, the persistence of microalbuminuria and high urinary TGF-β2 levels might predict renal impairment. When treating these patients, genetic tendencies and possible polymorphisms on the TGF-β2 locus should be kept in mind.
doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2005.08.003
PMCID: PMC3964570  PMID: 24672129
hypertension; perindopril; indapamide; microalbuminuria; TGF-β2; gene polymorphism
24.  Blood Pressure Control with a Single-Pill Combination of Indapamide Sustained-Release and Amlodipine in Patients with Hypertension: The EFFICIENT Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e92955.
Objective
Despite antihypertensive treatment, most hypertensive patients still have high blood pressure (BP), notably high systolic blood pressure (SBP). The EFFICIENT study examines the efficacy and acceptability of a single-pill combination of sustained-release (SR) indapamide, a thiazide-like diuretic, and amlodipine, a calcium channel blocker (CCB), in the management of hypertension.
Methods
Patients who were previously uncontrolled on CCB monotherapy (BP≥140/90 mm Hg) or were previously untreated with grade 2 or 3 essential hypertension (BP≥160/100 mm Hg) received a single-pill combination tablet containing indapamide SR 1.5 mg and amlodipine 5 mg daily for 45 days, in this multicenter prospective phase 4 study. The primary outcome was mean change in BP from baseline; percentage of patients achieving BP control (BP<140/90 mm Hg) was a secondary endpoint. SBP reduction (ΔSBP) versus diastolic BP reduction (ΔDBP) was evaluated (ΔSBP/ΔDBP) from baseline to day 45. Safety and tolerability were also assessed.
Results
Mean baseline BP of 196 patients (mean age 52.3 years) was 160.2/97.9 mm Hg. After 45 days, mean SBP decreased by 28.5 mm Hg (95% CI, 26.4 to 30.6), while diastolic BP decreased by 15.6 mm Hg (95% CI, 14.5 to 16.7). BP control (<140/90 mm Hg) was achieved in 85% patients. ΔSBP/ΔDBP was 1.82 in the overall population. Few patients (n = 3 [2%]) reported side effects, and most (n = 194 [99%]) adhered to treatment.
Conclusion
In patients who were previously uncontrolled on CCB monotherapy or untreated with grade 2 or 3 hypertension, single-pill combination indapamide SR/amlodipine reduced BP effectively—especially SBP— over 45 days, and was safe and well tolerated.
Trial Registration
Clinical Trial Registry – India CTRI/2010/091/000114
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092955
PMCID: PMC3979648  PMID: 24714044
25.  Differences in first dose response to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition in congestive heart failure: a placebo controlled study. 
British Heart Journal  1991;66(3):206-211.
OBJECTIVE--To compare the first dose responses to low dose angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (captopril, enalapril, and perindopril) in elderly patients with stable chronic heart failure. DESIGN--Double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, parallel, group prospective study of elderly patients with stable chronic heart failure. SETTING--General hospital in-patient admissions for supervised diuretic withdrawal (24-48 hours) and the introduction of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor therapy. PATIENTS--48 unselected elderly (58-85 years) patients with symptomatic but stable chronic heart failure (New York Heart Association grades II-IV) confirmed by clinical history, examination, and cardiological investigations. Patients gave their written and informed consent to receive their initial treatment under double blind conditions; blood pressure was monitored and blood samples taken to measure the pharmacokinetic and neurohormonal responses. INTERVENTION--Patients were randomised to receive a daily oral dose of placebo, captopril (6.25 mg), enalapril (2.5 mg), or perindopril (2 mg). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Blood pressure and heart rate responses, drug concentration, and plasma renin and ACE activities. Differences between treatment groups were analysed by analysis of variance. RESULTS--The four randomised groups of patients had similar age, severity of heart failure (NYHA class), pretreatment diuretic dosage, plasma renin activity, and serum electrolyte state. Placebo treatment caused a modest but significant diurnal fall in blood pressure. Captopril produced a significant early (1.5 hours) and brief fall in blood pressure. The blood pressure fall with enalapril was later (4-10 hours), longer lasting, and was associated with significant slowing of supine heart rate. Though perindopril produced a similar plasma ACE inhibition to that produced by enalapril, it only caused changes in blood pressure that were similar to those caused by placebo. CONCLUSIONS--This controlled study is the first to indicate a qualitative difference in the acute response to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors with similar structure and metabolism (that is, enalapril and perindopril). Low dose perindopril seems to be less likely to cause hypotension in patients with heart failure. The explanation for the differences is unclear but may reflect differential effects on local tissue angiotensin generation.
PMCID: PMC1024645  PMID: 1657084

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