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Diuretics excel in drug comparison trial involving hypertension/metabolic syndrome
Date:1/28/2008

HOUSTON(Jan. 28, 2008)Diuretics were associated with reduced heart disease in a drug comparison trial involving 23,077 people with both high blood pressure and the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, report researchers from The University of Texas School of Public Health and Case Western Reserve University in the Jan. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The cardiac benefits connected with diuretics were particularly pronounced in blacks, who have a high incidence of high blood pressure or hypertension.

In hypertensive patients with metabolic syndrome, initial treatment for hypertension should include a diuretic, said senior author Barry Davis, M.D., Ph.D., professor of biostatistics and the director of the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials at the UT School of Public Health. Diuretics are preferred over other major classes of blood pressure medications to prevent one or more forms of cardiovascular disease.

High blood pressure is one of the risk factors included in the metabolic syndrome along with diabetes or pre-diabetes, excessive belly fat, high triglyceride levels, or low levels of high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol). It is estimated that about 40 percent of adults age 60 years or older can be classified as having the metabolic syndrome.

According to Davis, the James W. Rockwell Professor of Public Health, diuretics, also known as water pills, offered greater protection against cardiovascular disease including heart failure, and were at least as effective for lowering blood pressure when compared to three other classes of blood pressure medications. The newer medications tend to produce better glucose and cholesterol values but the diuretics tend to generate better patient outcomes, he said.

This is an important study that provides a new insight into diuretic therapy for blood pressure control, particularly in patients with th
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Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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