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Diuretics: Water Pills Increase Diabetes Risk in Major Study


Water Pills Increase Diabetes Risk in Major Study
Fri May 21, 5:37 PM ET
Source: Yahoo News

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a major study of blood pressure drugs, patients treated with water pills, or "diuretics," were at increased risk of developing diabetes, according to research presented here at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Hypertension.

But Dr. Joshua Barzilay, from Emory University in Atlanta, said that the increase in diabetes did not translate into an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

In the 42,000-patient study, known as ALLHAT, researchers compared four types of blood pressure drugs: a diuretic, an alpha-blocker, a calcium channel blocker, and an ACE inhibitor.

After two years of treatment, 9.3 percent of patients who received a diuretic called Hygroton (chlorthalidone) developed diabetes. In contrast, with the other drugs no more than 7 percent of patients developed diabetes. By 4 years, the difference was still apparent.

Barzilay suggested that further studies might be able to determine if costs are increased because those patients who develop diabetes need further treatments.

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