Less medication is better for high blood pressure: Study

March 20th, 2009 - 10:38 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, March 20 (IANS) A Canadian study has found that patients with high blood pressure are better off if they are treated with less medication.
Study leader Ross D. Feldman, a clinical scientist with at the University of Western Ontario, says that treating hypertension with low doses of single pill combinations, rather than multiple pills, is more effective.

Proper diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure can cut risk of stroke by 40 percent and heart attack by 25 percent.

As part of his study ‘Simplified Treatment Intervention to Control Hypertension (STITCH),’ Feldman and his research team selected 2,104 patients (from their family doctors) with high blood pressure.

Researchers wanted to see if there are simpler ways to help patients (and their doctors) reduce their blood pressure to goal levels than by following national guidelines which can be complicated, a university statement said Thursday.

The study found that most recently-diagnosed patients were better served if their treatment started with a half tablet of a single pill combination drug (an ACE-inhibitor/diuretic or Angiotensin receptor blocker/diuretic combination) than the regular starting dose of a single drug, the statement added.

“The nature of hypertension management has changed. It is much more aggressive, and complex, leading to hundreds of recommendations on how to manage high blood pressure,” Feldman was quoted as saying.

“This should be a call to hypertensive patients to go to their family physicians to be prescribed these single pill combinations. It makes both the patients’ and doctors’ lives easier,” he said.

The study appears in the April edition of the journal Hypertension.

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