NEW DELHI: Thousands of strokes and heart attacks could be prevented if patients switched blood pressure pills. Health records for five million with high blood pressure revealed the most popular pills, ACE inhibitors, were less effective than an alternative and caused more side effects.
The study in ‘The Lancet’ estimates that changing to thiazide diuretics would prevent 15% of cardiovascular events. There are 1.5 million such events, mainly heart attacks and strokes, every year in the UK.
High blood pressure is known as a “silent killer” as it does not have symptoms but puts strain on the blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys and eyes. It affects over one third of adults in the UK.
The study by Columbia University, New York, suggests if thiazide diuretics were prescribed straight away, then 3,100 heart attacks and strokes would have been prevented.