ALLHAT (chlorthalidone versus lisinopril versus amlodipine and heart failure risk)

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 more open access pages.

  • hypertension is a major cause of heart failure (HF) and is antecedent in 91% of cases
  • the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) stipulated assessment of the relative effect of chlorthalidone, lisinopril, and amlodipine in preventing HF
  • ALLHAT was a double-blind, randomized, clinical trial in 33,357 high-risk hypertensive patients aged > or =55 years
    • there was no significant interaction between prior medication use and treatment. Baseline blood pressures were equivalent (146/84 mm Hg) and at year 1 were 137/79, 139/79, and 140/80 mm Hg in those given chlorthalidone, amlodipine, and lisinopril. At 1 year, use of added open-label atenolol, diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers in the treatment groups was similar
    • relative HF risks of amlodipine or lisinopril versus chlorthalidone during year 1 were 2.22 (1.69 to 2.91; <0.001) and 2.08 (1.58 to 2.74; <0.001), and after year 1, 1.22 (1.08 to 1.38; P=0.001) and 0.96 (0.85 to 1.10; 0.58)
    • HF risk decreased with chlorthalidone versus amlodipine or lisinopril use during year 1. Subsequently, risk for those individuals taking chlorthalidone versus amlodipine remained decreased but less so, whereas it was equivalent to those given lisinopril. Prior medication use, follow-up blood pressures, and concomitant medications are unlikely to explain most of the HF differences

The ALLHAT data revealed that chlorthalidone was superior to calcium channel blockers and, at least in the short term, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in preventing heart failure in hypertensive individuals.


  1. Davis BR et al. Role of diuretics in the prevention of heart failure: the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial. Circulation. 2006 May 9;113(18):2201-10

Last reviewed 01/2018