If You Have High Blood Pressure, Read On

From the GIC Spring 2003 Newsletter pdf format of fybspring2003.pdf

See Related Blood Pressure Article

If you are one of the one in four adults with high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about what prescription drugs make sense for you and your condition. A new study conducted by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, found that diuretics, which work by increasing urine output, can be more effective in preventing fatal and nonfatal heart attacks than certain calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, and alpha-adrenergic blockers. The diuretics have the added advantage of costing a few cents a pill compared to $1 to over $2 per pill for the newer treatments.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is typified by blood pressure above 140/90. The first number is the systolic pressure, measuring the blood force as the heart contracts, pumping blood away from the heart. The second number is the diastolic pressure, the blood force as the heart relaxes, allowing blood to flow to the heart. Ninety percent of U.S. individuals age 55 to 65 will develop hypertension during their lifetime, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A different study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that race, age and gender affect what therapies are most effective for hypertension. The bottom line -- discuss with your doctor which combinations of therapies are best for you.

This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .