End-stage renal disease attributed to hypertension has increased annually for the last decade and will probably worsen through the year 2000. Patients with diabetic nephropathy and patients with hypertensive renal disease account for most new cases annually. Evidence reveals that all levels of untreated hypertension are associated with potentially declining renal function. Data from the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program and other studies show that antihypertensive treatment can prevent progressive renal failure. An ablation model demonstrates glomerular hyperfiltration as a possible mechanism for progressive renal failure. Human data on the renal effects of antihypertensive agents are limited and inconsistent. Despite the limitations, the Working Group on Hypertension and Chronic Renal Failure concludes that controlled hypertension to less than 140/90 mm Hg reduces the incidence of end-stage renal disease. Patients with established renal impairment may benefit from individualized treatment to 130/85 mm Hg or less.
(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:1280-1287)