Abstract The effect of diuretics to increase serum glucose, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as the adverse changes in triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol produced by nonselective β blockers, have been largely ignored in the treatment of hypertension. However, a number of trials have shown that reductions in serum lipids can alter cardiovascular mortality. Calcium antagonists have become major drugs in the treatment of hypertension, and some data suggest that calcium antagonists may increase serum glucose levels. Significantly less data on lipid effects have been published. Lipid and glucose effects were examined in an 8-week antihypertensive study using a sustained-release preparation of diltiazem titrated from 240 to 360 mg/day in a twice-daily regimen in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel trial in 96 patients. Average supine blood pressure at week 8 was 156 98 mm Hg , standing blood pressure with placebo 152 100 mm Hg , and with diltiazem 147 91 and 144 93 mm Hg . There were no statistically significant changes in serum lipids or glucose in the diltiazem or placebo group or between the groups. Mean values (mg/dl) at baseline and week 8 in the diltiazem group were, respectively, for cholesterol 215 and 218, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol 50 and 51, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 128 and 133, triglycerides 169 and 175, and glucose 113 and 110. Thus, this large and placebo-controlled study shows that diltiazem is among the antihypertensives with no adverse long-term lipid or glucose effects.