Using two hypertension meds may help cut risk of death

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On many occasions, it is said that two is better than one. That appears to be the case when it comes to reducing death from high blood pressure among the elderly.

Currently, thiazide water pills are the most common form of drug used in the initial treatment of high blood pressure. The problem, according to research from Vanderbilt University, is that these drugs strip the body of potassium, which can lead to potentially fatal heart complications. Coupling drugs like hydrochlorothiazide with potassium-friendly ENaC inhibitors has been found to reduce heart-related deaths among the elderly by 40%.

Researchers analyzed the results from three separate trials involving 6,000 patients involving the combination drug therapy. Fourteen additional trials were examined to determine the effects of the thiazide water pill use on its own. The results of the new report were published in the September/October issue of the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension.