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Channel blocker study faulted

Channel blocker study faulted

The public uproar created last week by a University of Washington report that calcium channel blockers cause excess heart attacks in hypertensive patients seems destined to be a tempest in a media teapot, with no lasting effect on the use of the drugs.

The paper, presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention Council meeting in San Antonio, concluded that the incremental risk associated with use of calcium channel blockers is about six per 1,000 person years, i.e., the number of patients in this group experiencing heart attacks would rise from 10 to 16. The authors concluded that diuretics and beta blockers should be used as first line treatment for hypertension.

The study was widely publicized in the general news media and led to a deluge of calls

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