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A large clinical trial known as ALLHAT compared different blood pressure treatments. The results showed that, for African American hypertensives, newer drugs may not be better than diuretics, regardless of the presence of metabolic syndrome. The ALLHAT group reviewed heart and kidney complications for more than 18,100 patients with hypertension and metabolic syndrome?which included 5763 African Americans?and another group of 11,180 patients without metabolic syndrome?which included 4277 African Americans. All study participants were randomly assigned to receive either a diuretic (chlorthalidone), a calcium channel blocker (amlodipine), or an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (lisinopril). After 5 years, researchers found that neither the ACE inhibitor nor the calcium channel blocker was more effective than the diuretic in preventing cardiovascular incidents in patients with or without metabolic syndrome.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.