Diuretics (water pills) work better than newer and more costly medicines in the treatment of high blood pressure and prevention of some forms of heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes, according to results from the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT). ALLHAT, the largest hypertension clinical trial ever conducted, was led in part by Tulane University physician and epidemiologist Paul K. Whelton, senior vice president for health sciences and lead author for the current report published in the June 27th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Almost three out of every four persons with type 2 diabetes has hypertension, putting them at substantial risk for cardiovascular disease," Whelton says.
An important question in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension has been whether it makes a difference which medicine is used for initial therapy of high blood pressure.
"Independent of diabetes status, our results suggest that diuretics are better than ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers in preventing certain cardiovascular disease complications-especially heart failure-during initial treatment of high blood pressure. Patients with diabetes and high blood pressure should not change their antihypertensive medications without discussing this option with their doctors," says Whelton.
Madeline Vann | EurekAlert!
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