Caring Currents

Exciting News For Heart and Stroke Patients

Last updated: Mar 31, 2008

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If you have a parent with blood-pressure issues, a just-released international study -- known as the ACCOMPLISH trial -- may offer some promise. Researchers found that a combination of two different blood pressure medications significantly lowers cardiovascular risk for people with high blood pressure. The not-yet-published results were presented earlier today at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session in Chicago. In fact, the findings were deemed so significant that an independent research committee called an early halt to the trial.In the study, patients with high blood pressure were treated either with a tablet containing an ACE inhibitor and a calcium channel blocker (CCB), or a tablet containing the same ACE inhibitor and a diuretic. After six months, treatment with either drug combination brought the blood pressure of most patients into the acceptable range. But even more importantly, patients who received the ACE/CCB tablet had 20 percent fewer cardiovascular events, including heart-related deaths, heart attacks, strokes, hospitalizations for unstable angina, and treatment to reopen blocked arteries. This is very exciting news, but what does it mean for your parent? To find out, I spoke with Kenneth Jamerson, professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and the study's lead author. "These results are hot off the presses," says Dr. Jamerson. "Unless your parent's doctor was at today's presentation, even she might not even know about it. For now, your parent can just ask questions, make sure the doctor is aware of the study, and let the course of time allow the doctor to read the results and make a decision."Image by flickr user cursedthing used under Creative Commons attribution-no derivs license.