The Losartan Intervention For Endpoint (LIFE) reduction in hypertension study is a double-blind, prospective, parallel-group study comparing the effects of losartan with those of atenolol on the reduction of cardiovascular complications in patients (n = 9,194) with essential hypertension and with electrocardiographically (ECG) documented left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). Baseline blood pressure was 174.4/97.8 mm Hg (mean), age 66.9 years, body mass index 28.0 kg/m2; 54.1% were women and 12.5% had diabetes mellitus. This population will be treated until at least 1,040 have a primary endpoint. After five scheduled visits and 12 months of follow-up, blood pressure decreased by 23.9/12.8 mm Hg to 150.5/85.1 mm Hg (target < 140/90 mm Hg). The mandatory titration level of < or = 160/95 mm Hg was reached by 72.1% of the patients. At the 12-month visit, 22.7% of all patients were taking blinded study drug alone, 44.3% were taking blinded drug plus hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), and 17.7% were taking blinded drugs plus HCTZ and additional drugs. Controlling for all other variables, patients in the US received more medication and had 2.4 times the odds of achieving blood pressure control than patients in the rest of the study (P < .001). Previously untreated patients (n = 2,530) had a larger initial decrease in blood pressure compared with those previously treated. Diabetics (n = 1,148) needed more medication than nondiabetics to gain blood pressure control. Only 13.9% of the patients had discontinued blinded study drug and 1.4% missed the revisit at 12 months. These data demonstrate both the successful lowering of blood pressure during 12 months of follow-up in a large cohort of patients with hypertension and LVH on ECG, but also emphasize the need for two or more drugs to control high blood pressure in most of these patients. Being previously treated and having diabetes were associated with less blood pressure response, whereas living in the US indicated better blood pressure control. It has been possible to keep most of these patients with complicated hypertension taking blinded study drug for 12 months.