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To compare tolerance, antihypertensive efficacy and impact on quality of life of amlodipine and enalapril in patients with mild or moderate hypertension.Multicentre, double-blind, double-dummy, comparative trial in general practice. Three phases were conducted: 4 weeks on placebo, 12 weeks of dose adjustment (amlodipine or enalapril) and a 38-week maintenance period.Four hundred and sixty-one patients of both sexes were enrolled; 451 were available for efficacy evaluation at the end of the trial.The patients were allocated to either amlodipine (231) or enalapril (230) treatment. If at the end of dose adjustment (amlodipine 5-10mg/day, enalapril 10—40 mg/day) diastolic blood pressure was >95mmHg, hydrochlorothiazide (25—50 mg/day) was added (27 amlodipine patients and 45 enalapril patients).Blood pressure changes after 1 year of treatment; between- and within-group changes in quality of life as assessed by psychological general well-being, social and sexual functioning, health-risk perception, alertness, behaviour, and impact of symptom and side effects.Indices on quality of life were unchanged or increased (2-9%) in both groups. Blood pressure was normalized or reduced by >10mmHg in 204 (90%) and 190 (85%) patients on amlodipine and enalapril, respectively. Cough was the most frequently reported adverse event in the enalapril group (13%) and oedema in the amlodipine group (22%). Only eight (4%) patients on amlodipine and nine (4%) on enalapril were withdrawn because of drug-related adverse events.At similar blood pressure reduction in mild and moderate hypertension, quality of life is equally well maintained on amlodipine and enalapril therapy.