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High blood pressure and kidney disease increase risk for heart disease and stroke in older Americans

renal failure, such as anemia or abnormalities of calcium or phosphorus metabolism, for example. We are participating in other ongoing studies to establish the connections," he said.

The study also confirmed other earlier findings that diuretics are as effective as or better for preventing cardiovascular disease than newer drugs.

"Overall, ACE inhibitors and diuretics were about equally likely to protect against heart attacks," said Rahman, "but diuretics seemed more effective at preventing other kinds of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart failure."

Calcium-channel blockers were about equal in protecting against all cardiovascular disease, but diuretics were more effective at preventing heart failure. These results held for all participants regardless of kidney function.

Rahman cautioned patients not to stop taking their medications after reading these results, however, and to consult their physicians.

He added, "Exercise, maintaining optimal body weight, smoking avoidance, and maintaining low cholesterol levels these are all things that should be done with renewed emphasis in most patients with high blood pressure. Most patient with hypertension and chronic kidney disease will require multiple medications to control blood pressure. Our results demonstrate that the risk for cardiovascular disease is lower if one of the medications is a diuretic."

He recommends patients who have high blood pressure talk to their doctors about measuring their kidney function to determine if they are suffering from chronic kidney disease.


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Contact: George Stamatis
George.Stamatis@case.edu
216-368-3635
Case Western Reserve University
6-Feb-2006


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