By British Heart Foundation, [RxPG] The British Heart Foundation has commented on the results of the ASCOT trials, which have been presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2005 in Stockholm.
The trials have revealed that new classes of blood pressure-lowering drugs could save lives by preventing strokes and heart attacks even more effectively.
Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, said:
"This is an important study because it provides evidence on the efficacy of the newer blood pressure lowering agents at reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
"We have known for some time that they are effective at lowering blood pressure but this new study shows that they are even better at preventing heart attacks and strokes than the blood pressure lowering drugs we have been using for many years.
"In addition, when these drugs are combined with atorvastatin, a commonly prescribed lipid lowering drug, they are even more effective.
"The guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure are constantly being revised in the light of results of new clinical trials like this one. We expect that this study will have a major influence on future guidelines published by organisations such as NICE and consequently on future prescribing of antihypertensive drugs.
"However, people taking the older types of drug should however, be reassured that they are on effective treatment and there may be good medical reasons why they should continue on these drugs, rather than swap to the newer ones.
"The results of this trial serve to re-emphasise just how important it is to reducing blood pressure and cholesterol in patients at risk of a heart attack or stroke."