Diuretics 'best in patients at risk of heart failure'
By Nigel Praities
GPs should use diuretics first-line in hypertensive patients at risk of developing heart failure, say Italian researchers.
In a comparative analysis of data from 220,000 patients, the researchers looked at which blood pressure treatment is the best at preventing the development of heart failure.
The meta-analysis found diuretics treatment was associated with a 41% reduced risk of developing heart failure, compared with placebo. This compared with a 29% reduced risk with ACE inhibitors, 24% with angiotensin receptor blockers, 23% reduced risk with calcium channel blockers and a 13% reduced risk with beta blockers, compared with placebo.
Lead author Dr Sebastiano Sciarretta, a cardiologist at the University of Rome, said: ‘Our findings support the use of these agents as first-line antihypertensive strategy to prevent heart failure in patients with hypertension at risk to develop heart failure.'