ALLHAT Seeks to Educate About Hypertension Treatments
The ALLHAT Collaborative Research group encourages doctors across the country to use NHLBI guidelines in their daily treatment of high blood pressure.
Akinso: It's the largest high blood pressure clinical trial ever conducted-the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial known for its initials as "ALLHAT." The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute sponsored the study, and with the ALLHAT Collaborative Research group encourages doctors across the country to use NHLBI guidelines in their daily treatment of high blood pressure according Doctor William Cushman, Chair of the ALLHAT Dissemination Committee.
Cushman: The efforts of this program are to educate physicians and the public more, about the benefits of the thiazide-type diuretics in particular. But also to globally present the hypertension guidelines on the management of hypertension and what all the recommendations are that we have made with those guidelines.
Akinso: ALLHAT researchers found that all the studied hypertension drugs lowered blood pressure, but the use of diuretics led to better heart disease outcomes overall — most notably, a lower rate of heart failure. Dr. Cushman cites other advantages of diuretic use.
Cushman: However it's also important I think for patients to be aware that there is a drug that should often be included in their antihypertensive regimen — thiazide-type diuretic, that's very, very effective in lowering blood pressure, it's very effective at preventing cardiovascular events, very well tolerated-it was as well or better tolerated than the other drugs in the ALLHAT study, and it's very inexpensive to include in a regimen.
Akinso: As part of this effort, posters will be sent to medical practices throughout the country with the message: "Your Doctor Knows Something New about Controlling Blood Pressure-Ask!" For information about hypertension, visit www.allhat.com. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. William Cushman