High blood pressure treatment with a calcium channel antagonist slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the disease process responsible for heart attacks and strokes, better than a beta blocker, according to a rapid track report posted online this week in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Rapid track articles are released online early because Circulation editors believe the work has major clinical impact or represents important basic science discoveries.
The study tested two high blood pressure medications: lacidipine, a calcium channel blocker, and atenolol, a beta blocker. Beta blockers reduce the hearts tendency to beat faster as it tries to compensate for weakened pumping ability. Allowing the heart to maintain a slower rate lowers blood pressure. Calcium channel blockers interfere with calciums role in the contraction of these muscles. This causes the muscles to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving blood circulation in the heart.
Carole Bullock | EurekAlert!
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