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CHC/IHF: Two Newer BP Drugs Not Better Than Diuretic

Extended ALLHAT study shows lisinopril, amlodipine not superior to chlorthalidone

FRIDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The ACE inhibitor lisinopril and the calcium channel blocker amlodipine are no better than the older, cheaper diuretic chlorthalidone for lowering blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease, according to research presented at the China Heart Congress and International Heart Forum, held from Aug. 12 to 15 in Beijing.

Paul Whelton, M.D., of the Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill., and chairman of the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT), reported the findings from the trial, which used data from participants (initial results published in 2002) who were followed for an additional four to five years. The original ALLHAT data showed that chlorthalidone, which costs only $25 to $40 per year, was superior to the calcium channel blocker in preventing heart failure and better than the ACE inhibitor in preventing stroke, heart failure, and overall cardiovascular disease.

In the new study, the differences in treatment effect between the chlorthalidone group and the other two groups were smaller than they were previously, but there was no evidence of any superiority of the ACE inhibitor or the calcium channel blocker in terms of prevention of major cardiovascular disease events.

The researchers "are continuing to mine data that we collected during the trial," Whelton said in a statement.

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