THE TREATMENT of essential hypertension has always been disheartening. The development, however, of the newer "antihypertensive" agents has given new hope and encouragement to patients with essential hypertension and to the physician who treats them. With the advent of these agents, it seemed worth while to study the hypertensive patients in a controlled hospital practice to determine (1) the number responding to symptomatic treatment, (2) the number requiring "antihypertensive" agents, (3) the number responding to these agents after failure to respond to symptomatic treatment, and (4) the relative effectiveness of three of these agents*—the hydrogenated ergot alkaloids (Hydergin), hydralazine (Apresoline), and hexamethonium chloride (Esomid; Hexameton).
Our previous experience with the veratrum preparations led us to exclude them in this study.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The basis of this report is a study of all hypertensive patients admitted to a general medical and surgical hospital during an 18-month period ending July, 1953.