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American Society of Hypertension, May 19-22, 2012

Last Updated: June 04, 2012.

The American Society of Hypertension 27th Annual Scientific Meeting and Exposition

The annual meeting of the American Society of Hypertension was held from May 19 to 22 in New York City and attracted approximately 1,750 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in the management of high blood pressure (BP). The conference highlighted recent advances in the prevention, detection, and treatment of hypertension and related cardiovascular conditions as well as in the pathobiology of hypertension.

In one study, Keith Ferdinand, M.D., of the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and colleagues found that an investigational, long-acting glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analog, dulaglutide (dula), had no adverse effect on BP in patients with type 2 diabetes. The investigators also found that the 1.5 mg dose of the drug significantly lowered BP.

"In our study, the primary objective of showing non-inferiority of BP changes with dula at 16 weeks was met, at both doses (0.75 mg and 1.5 mg). Furthermore, there was significant BP lowering with the 1.5 mg dula dose," Ferdinand said. "Future studies will be needed to confirm if this investigational anti-hyperglycemic agent not only safely and effectively lowers blood glucose, but also shows benefit, or at least no harmful effects, on cardiovascular clinical outcomes."

Ferdinand disclosed financial relationships with various pharmaceutical companies, including Lilly, the manufacturer of dulaglutide.

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In another study, Michael Weber, M.D., of the State University of New York College of Medicine in Brooklyn, and colleagues evaluated the effects of a diuretic as compared to the calcium channel blocker amlodipine on cardiovascular outcomes in patients who were obese, overweight, or lean.

"We found that both a diuretic and amlodipine were similarly effective among obese individuals. However, patients who were not obese did significantly better with amlodipine when it came to preventing serious adverse events," Weber said.

According to Weber, lean individuals with hypertension tend to have worse outcomes compared to obese individuals, potentially because hypertension in obese individuals is typically due their weight and may be less dangerous.

"We found that, for preventing major cardiovascular events, it doesn't matter whether you give an obese patient a diuretic or amlodipine. However, for patients who are not obese, treatment that includes amlodipine is significantly more effective than diuretic-based treatment in reducing the risk of adverse outcomes," Weber added.

Weber disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Majon Muller, M.D., of the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues found that lower BP levels in older persons were related to more brain atrophy and cognitive impairment, especially in those with a long-term history of hypertension.

"These results might suggest that the brains of older persons, possibly with target organ damage due to chronic hypertension, are more susceptible to lower BP levels, possibly through structural and functional changes of cerebral arteries," Muller said. "However, this was an observational study, not a clinical trial, so we do not know whether low BP is an actual risk factor for brain atrophy and cognitive impairment or whether low BP is an indicator or marker of more comorbidity, arterial stiffness, or reduced cardiac output."

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