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Combo Therapy Helps Cut High Blood Pressure

Drug study finds black patients benefited from switching to Lotrel

TUESDAY, June 25, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Combination drug therapy may help control the high blood pressure that's so prevalent among black people, says new research.

The study included 2,055 black patients evaluated in more than 1,500 centers across the United States. The people in the study were switched from taking the high blood pressure drug amlodipine (Norvasc) to a combination of two drugs -- amlodipine and benazepril -- contained in a single capsule that goes by the brand name Lotrel.

After four weeks of treatment, those receiving the combination drug therapy had average reductions of their diastolic and systolic blood pressures of 10.4 and 13.9 points, respectively.

Swelling in the feet and legs improved in 81 percent of the people on the combination therapy, the study says.

The study, which appears in the June issue of the American Journal of Hypertension, was presented at the recent annual meeting of the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks and sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, which makes Lotrel.

High blood pressure is a serious health issue for blacks. Compared to whites, blacks with hypertension are 80 percent more likely to die from stroke, 50 percent more likely to die of a heart attack and six times more likely to get kidney disease.

More information

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a complete guide to lowering high blood pressure.

SOURCE: Chamberlain Communications Group, Inc., news release, June 20, 2002
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