Many new choices exist in the management of hypertension. Armed with a basic understanding of the definition and causes of hypertension, the pharmacotherapeutics, and special patient populations, health care professionals should be able to optimally educate, treat, and follow up patients with hypertension. In the step-care approach, four different classes of agents may be used as Step 1 choices. Selection is determined by concurrent illnesses, patient age, or concomitant drug therapy. In emergency situations, additional choices exist. Tailoring therapy in hypertensive crises may prevent or minimize end-organ damage. These areas are reviewed, and guidelines for patient assessment and education are presented

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