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New Concerns About Calcium Channel Blockers

Almost five years ago, I warned you about the dangers of using calcium channel blockers as they failed to reduce one's risk of heart disease, despite chatter from the (National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (NHLBI) in their ALLHAT and JNC-VII reports to the contrary.

Calcium channel blockers may double a woman's risk of dying from heart disease, especially when given in certain combinations, according to the Women's Health Initiative study of some 20,000 postmenopausal women, ages 50-79.

Researchers found these blockers may double the mortality risk, especially when paired with diuretics, which reduce the amount of fluid in the blood. Women took a calcium channel blocker alone had a 55 percent higher risk of death than women who took a diuretic alone.

Just as important: Scientists believe these findings also apply to men.

High blood pressure can kill or permanently impair you, and it should not be ignored. This condition usually kills people slowly over time, and very high blood pressures can surely cause a stroke. I normally advise drug therapy if the systolic (upper) pressure is greater than 180. This is done as a temporary measure to keep patients alive until their lifestyle adjustments kick in.

Normally, you can lower your high blood pressure quite simply, using these safe, proven methods:

USA Today December 15, 2004

Journal of the American Medical Association December 15, 2004;292:2849-2859

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