Drugs' Outcomes Are Comparable for African Americans

Published Online: Wednesday, December 1, 2004

A study of 20,000 African Americans revealed that no hypertension medication wins over another at lowering the risk of death and pressure-related problems, if the patient's goal blood pressure is achieved. Using databases to find trials that assessed the effectiveness of various types of blood pressure medications in African Americans, the researchers found that beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were more effective than a placebo in reducing upper and lower numbers.

The researchers found, in contrast, that all other classes of blood pressure drugs were no more effective than placebo at lowering blood pressure. Yet, the only drug class that, without fail, was better than a placebo in all of these patients was calcium channel blockers. In the Annals of Internal Medicine (October 19, 2004), the researchers said that, as long as the goal blood pressure was reached, the type of drug used did not affect outcomes such as stroke and death because of cardiovascular disorders. The study, however, showed some evidence that the risk of diabetes may have increased with diuretics, and cardiovascular events may have increased with ACE inhibitors, compared with other blood pressure drugs.

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