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Blood-pressure drugs help diabetics


Intensive treatment with drugs that lower blood pressure will benefit diabetics with abnormal heart rhythms who are at risk of heart failure and stroke, according to research.

Trials in Australia have found that patients with Type 2 diabetes and a condition known as atrial fibrillation (AF) are 77% more likely to die than those without AF.

Professor Anushka Patel, director of the cardiovascular division at the George Institute for International Health at the University of Sydney said: “Active treatment produced similar relative benefits to patients with and without AF.

“However, because of their higher risk at the start of the study, the absolute benefit associated with active treatment was greater in patients with AF than without.

“We estimate that five years of active treatment would prevent one death among every 42 patients with AF and one death among every 120 patients without AF.”

Her findings, published in the European Heart Journal, show that treating patients intensively with a combination of drugs to lower blood pressure could cut the risk for all these conditions.

Research suggests people with Type 2 are around twice as likely to suffer AF as those without the condition.

Copyright Press Association 2009

European Heart Journal

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