Effectiveness of blood pressure medication based on BMI

Researchers from the State University of New York’s Downstate Medical Center found that blood pressure medications’ effectiveness may be partially based on patients’ body mass indexes (BMI), according to Medical News Today.

The study, which was led by Michael Weber, analyzed data from 11,482 patients who were part of a previous trial known as ACCOMPLISH, which analyzed the effectiveness of two different drug combinations: benazepril (an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor) and a diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, as well as Benazepril and amlodipine, a calcium blocker. To gauge the effects based on weight, the subjects were classified either as being normal weight, overweight or obese.

The researchers found that the diuretic treatment was better suited for people with higher BMIs and should not be administered to patients who are not obese. The calcium channel blocker showed to be effective in all weight groups.

“These findings could change the way high blood pressure (hypertension) is treated and should be of practical help to clinicians in selecting the type of combination treatment most likely to benefit individual patients,” said Weber, as quoted by the news source. “Importantly, they suggest that hypertension in obese and lean patients is probably mediated by different forms of underlying disease processes.”

Hypertension weight factors
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that being obese is a risk factor for high blood pressure and that losing 10 pounds can help reduce hypertension. In order to gauge whether someone is a healthy weight, the NIH notes that BMI, a person’s weight to height ratio and waist measurement are usually considered.

The source reports that people should try to lose weight slowly, at about .5 to 2 pounds a week.

Dietary factors
Diet also plays a role in blood pressure. The NIH suggests consuming abundant fruits and vegetables and minimizing the intake of saturated fats and high-cholesterol foods. In order to establish a healthy diet, people should keep a food diary in which they record how much they eat, when they eat and why they eat. This may reveal certain unhealthy eating habits. For example, some people habitually consume high-fat foods while they watch television.

The NIH also reports that in addition to a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables and low on salt, omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in reducing high blood pressure. People can get omega-3s from flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp milk and an Omegakrill supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.