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Hypertension Treatment Delays But May Not Eliminate Atherosclerosis

     

      May 25, 2000 (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Nearly 50 million Americans have high blood pressure, known as the silent killer. If untreated, it prematurely ages the arteries which can lead to stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.

      A report presented at the American Society of Hypertension points to the fact that atherosclerosis is just being postponed to an older age rather than being prevented. It is unclear of why this is happening.

      According to John Kostis, M.D., of the University of New Jersey Medical School, "Delaying the progression of illness must not be confused with true prevention or cure, and although we have made significant inroads in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease, managing it is an ongoing battle requiring commitment from both patients and physicians."

      Dr. Kostis bases his findings on nine studies involving 21,781 elderly people and concludes that treating blood pressure postpones development of atherosclerosis but does not prevent it. If you modify your lifestyle to control your blood pressure, you should get the same benefits as if controlled by medication. He also notes that controlled studies have shown that treating high blood pressure (especially in older persons with high systolic blood pressure, has resulted in decreasing the development of atherosclerosis. Dr. Kostis emphasizes that certain anti-hypertensive drugs ACE inhibitors) also reduce atherosclerosis much better than calcium channel blockers.

      Data from these studies indicate a favorable trend in lower blood pressure levels seen in high-risk individuals who have been treated appropriately.

      Ivanhoe correspondent Margaret Pearson covered the American Society of Hypertension conference.

      To receive a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs, go to www.ivanhoe.com/docs/survey.html

     

     

2000 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.




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