Best Medicine


Anchor lead: If you have high blood pressure, what is the best medicine to start with? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Drugs known as thiazide diuretics may be the best choice for most when it comes to beginning medication to treat high blood pressure, a recent very large study found. Greg Prokopowicz, a high blood pressure expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the results.

Prokopowicz: Close to five million people were looked at who were taking a variety of different categories of drugs and these were in databases in the US, Japan, the UK. And they looked specifically at people who were taking blood pressure medication for the first time. For the most part they found that the different classes of medications performed comparably but in particular they found that thiazide diuretics, which are a very commonly used class of drugs, performed even better than certain other classes of drugs, notably ACE inhibitors.  :29

Prokopowicz notes that thiazide diuretics are also very inexpensive so should prove affordable for the millions of people worldwide with high blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.