Healthbeat

Weight can affect how blood pressure medications work

Thursday, December 06, 2012
Del. Donna Christensen, D-V.I. left, getting her blood pressure checked by Dr. Jeffrey Perlmutter of the National Kidney Foundation, Thursday, May 17, 2007.

Del. Donna Christensen, D-V.I. left, getting her blood pressure checked by Dr. Jeffrey Perlmutter of the National Kidney Foundation, Thursday, May 17, 2007. (AP Photo)

Considering a patient's weight when choosing a blood pressure medication might help prevent strokes, heart attacks and death, according to a new study from The Lancet.

The study found that thin and obese people react differently to blood pressure medications.

People who have high blood pressure and are overweight have a better prognosis than people who have high blood pressure and are thin, scientists found.

Researchers recommend starting all patients with a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers regardless of weight.

They say diuretics are effective in obese patients but can harm thin patients and should be relegated to a third line therapy.

The authors believe their findings could change the way high blood pressure is treated.

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