Trial of Nonpharmacologic Interventions in Elderly (TONE)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) logo

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Status and phase

Phase 3


Cardiovascular Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Heart Diseases


Behavioral: diet, reducing
Behavioral: diet, sodium-restricted

Study type


Funder types



R01HL048642 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)
R01HL048641 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)

Details and patient eligibility


To test the efficacy of weight loss and sodium restriction, alone and combined, in maintaining the normotensive state following withdrawal of antihypertensive medications in an elderly cohort. Conducted in collaboration with the National Institute on Aging.

Full description

BACKGROUND: An estimated 30 to 40 percent of elderly persons are treated with blood pressure medications. The efficacy of blood pressure drug therapy in older patients with diastolic or combined diastolic/systolic hypertension is well proven, but such therapy can adversely affect quality of life and biochemical profile. In 1992 when the study started, there was a compelling rationale to identify what proportion of medicated, well-controlled elderly hypertensives could be maintained long-term or greater than 30 months in the normotensive state following withdrawal of blood pressure medications. There was also a need to determine whether nonpharmacologic therapy could significantly increase the proportion with a successful outcome. DESIGN NARRATIVE: Randomized. A total of 585 overweight subjects were assigned in a 2 x 2 factorial design to weight loss, sodium reduction, combined weight loss and sodium reduction, or usual life-style control. The remaining 390 subjects of normal weight were assigned in a 2-armed design to a sodium reduction or an attention control group. The control groups were engaged in a series of non-blood pressure related health encounters designed to control for non-specific effects of groups contacts. Withdrawal of antihypertensive medication was attempted following three months of intervention. The primary endpoint was a blood pressure of 150/90 mm Hg or greater, resumption of antihypertensive drug therapy, or the occurrence of a blood pressure-related clinical complication during two to three years of follow-up. Recruitment ended in June, 1994. Follow-up ended in December, 1995. NHLBI support for the trial ended in March, 1997. The NIA supported the Coordinating Center and two clinical centers through February 1998. The study completion date listed in this record was obtained from the "Completed Date" entered from the old format in the Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS).




60 to 80 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Men and women with a systolic blood pressure of less than 145 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of less than 85 mm Hg on single-drug therapy.

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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