Thousands of patients with high blood pressure could benefit from changing their drug treatment regimen to reduce their risk of cardiac death. The current U.S. hypertension treatment guidelines recommend using a thiazide diuretic—a drug that increases the volume of urine—alone as the initial drug therapy for high blood pressure. But a failure of diuretic drugs to decrease deaths from heart attacks, an important consequence of hypertension, prompted Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers to analyze data from existing clinical trials of diuretic drugs.
They found that combining a thiazide diuretic with a “potassium-sparing” drug to treat hypertension reduced both sudden cardiac death and total coronary mortality by 40 percent. The findings call into question the current treatment guidelines.
“The recommendations can now be re-examined in light of these new findings,” said John Oates, MD, senior author of the study published in the September/October issue of the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension. The Joint National Committee, under the direction of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, publishes clinical practice guidelines for hypertension—new guidelines are expected in 2009.
Release date: Septemebr 16, 2008
Source: Vanderbilt Medical Center
Filed Under: Drug Discovery