Medical News Summary: Long term medications need to be carefully assessed to determine health benefits


About: Long term medications need to be carefully assessed to determine health benefits
Date: 10 January 2005
Source: News Scotsman
Author: Dr Ian McKee
Medical News Summary (summary of medical news story as reported by News Scotsman): The health benefits of many medications are being questioned. For example, a person who has his cholesterol lowered to normal through medication may not necessarily receive any health benefit from this. Blood pressure medication is also questionable. One category of blood pressure drugs inhibits the production of the kidney hormone angiotensin which is a crucial factor in blood pressure increase. The other group of high blood pressure drugs prevents the uptake of angiotensin thus making it have less impact. The second group of drugs has been proven to reduce blood pressure but they also cause a 19% increase in risk of heart attack relative to older medications. Another drug from this group caused a 36% increase in heart attacks relative to a placebo. Although it is inadvisable to discontinue treatment without doctor’s advice, it is important to carefully assess the pros and cons of long-term medications.
Related Disease Topics: High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Heart attack

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