Blood Pressure-Lowering Drugs May Have Opposite EffectBy Sandra Cooper • Oct 20th, 2010 • Category: Blood Pressure, Dr. Cutler's True Health Blog Archive, Health Articles, True Health News
A new American Journal of Hypertension study has found that some commonly prescribed drugs used to lower blood pressure may actually have the opposite effect.
The study involved 945 patients with high blood pressure who were enrolled in a workplace antihypertensive treatment program from 1981 to 1998. The patients were given a single antihypertensive medication as part of the study.
Researchers say that a statistically significant percentage of participants actually had increases in their blood pressure readings, despite taking medication. They suggest that doctors could avoid this problem—and select drugs most suitable for their patients—by measuring blood levels of the enzyme renin through a blood test that is becoming more widely available.
"Our findings suggest that physicians should use renin levels to predict the most appropriate first drug for treating patients with hypertension," said lead author Michael Alderman, M.D. "This would increase the likelihood of achieving blood pressure control and reduce the need for patients to take additional antihypertensive medications."
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), hypertension increases the risk for heart attack, angina, stroke, kidney failure and peripheral artery disease.
In addition to lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise, supplements containing potassium, calcium, fish oil, magnesium and garlic may help prevent high blood pressure.
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