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2-drug blood pressure therapy lowers cardiovascular risk
Date:3/31/2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich. An international blood pressure study comparing two single-pill drug combinations has yielded results so significant that the study has been stopped early and the researchers say their findings might alter the way high blood pressure is treated worldwide.

The randomized study showed that both drug combinations helped people who had high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors get their BP down to recommended levels despite the fact that two-thirds of them had been unable to achieve good BP control with other medications before they entered the study.

But even more important, the study revealed that the patients taking one of the combinations had 20 percent fewer heart-related events than the patients taking the other one. Those events included cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks, strokes, hospitalizations for unstable angina and treatments to re-open blocked heart arteries.

In all, 10,700 study participants took a single tablet that includes two medications. One group received a tablet containing benazepril, which is a type of drug called an ACE inhibitor, and amlodipine, which belongs to a class of drugs known as calcium channel blockers or CCBs. The other pill combined benazepril and hydrochloro-thiazide, a type of diuretic or water pill. The 20 percent reduction in cardiovascular events was observed with the ACE/CCB combination tablet.

Currently, national guidelines for the treatment of high blood pressure (also called hypertension) call for patients who need medication to start out on a single pill, usually a diuretic, and to add other drugs only as needed to bring pressure down. But the new results, presented today at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session in Chicago, may signal a need to change those guidelines.

These results demonstrate the superiority of an ACE/CCB pill fixed-dose combination treatment strategy for reducing cardiovascular morbidity and
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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