Treating Hypertension

A study released by Houston doctors shows that treating high blood pressure with diuretics is as good as or more effective than other treatments for both blacks and non-blacks. There were some questions about the effectiveness of the drugs among African-Americans.

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In December of 2002 a study was released showing that cheaper diuretics, or water pills, are the most effective means of treating hypertension in most patients. But what was unclear was whether water pills were the best choice for African-Americans. Dr. Barry Davis is a professor of biostatistics at the U.T. Health Science Center and conducted a study of the effects of the different drugs on the black population.

Davis says the data collected showed that ACE inhibitors were less effective for blacks, but diuretics were equally effective regardless of race. He says that further confirms the findings of the original study that diuretics should be the drug of choice for treating high blood pressure.

The results of the study on diuretics and race were published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The data was analysed using the results of the original 2002 study.

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