Hypertension Hype

Heavily advertised drugs turn out to be no better than pills costing pennies

Some medical studies offer small but important advances in our understanding of disease. Others just seem to create confusion. Then there are those rare studies, like last week's report on the best way to start treating high blood pressure, that could change the way doctors practice medicine for years to come. The study, which was sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), showed that mild diuretics, or "water pills," are not just the least expensive means of treating most cases of high blood pressure; they are the most effective as well.

This is not the sort of...

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