High blood pressure is a health problem that many people face. The tricky part about treating it is knowing which medicine to use first.
There are five main types of medicines, and doctors can choose any of them as the first treatment. The problem is, we don’t have a lot of research to tell us which one works best.
This means that doctors often have to make their choice based on what they think is best, rather than what the science says.
The Research Findings
Recently, a team of researchers from Columbia University decided to study this problem. They wanted to know if the most commonly used high blood pressure medicine, called ACE inhibitors, was really the best choice.
They also looked at a less commonly used medicine, known as thiazide diuretics. What they found was surprising.
The team studied the health records of nearly 5 million people who started taking medicine for high blood pressure.
They found that doctors chose ACE inhibitors for the first treatment in almost half of these patients. Only 17% of patients were first given thiazide diuretics.
What’s surprising is that the patients who first took thiazide diuretics had better results.
They had 15% fewer serious heart problems, like heart attacks and strokes, compared to those who first took ACE inhibitors. They also had fewer side effects.
In fact, the researchers estimated that if all the patients who first took ACE inhibitors had been given a thiazide diuretic instead, around 3,100 serious heart problems could have been avoided.
Implications of the Study
This study challenges the common practice of using ACE inhibitors as the first treatment for high blood pressure.
It suggests that thiazide diuretics might be a better choice, because they seem to be more effective and have fewer side effects.
Of course, every patient is unique. What works best for one person might not work as well for another.
Still, this study gives doctors some important information to think about when deciding on the first treatment for high blood pressure.
The team’s findings were published in the medical journal The Lancet. Now, more research is needed to confirm these results and to explore the reasons why thiazide diuretics might be a better first choice.
This study is a reminder that even when it comes to well-known health problems like high blood pressure, there’s always more to learn. And sometimes, the answers we find might surprise us.
If you care about blood pressure, please read studies that common painkiller can harm your blood pressure, and common high blood pressure drugs may actually raise blood pressure.
For more information about blood pressure control, please see recent studies about teas that may help reduce high blood pressure, and results showing this recommended high blood pressure drug may have dangerous side effects.
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