MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Charlotta Ljungman, MD, PhD
Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Cardiology
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Ljungman: The background of this study is the known differences between women and men regarding antihypertensive therapy. In studies both in Europe and the United States it has been shown that women are more often treated with diuretics and men with ACE-inhibitors. The reasons for these differences is not known but it has been suggested that differences in comorbidities between women and men can contribute to this finding. In our study we tested if comorbidities could explain the differences but could conclude that the differences persist even after taking comorbidities (mainly diabetes mellitsu and cardiovascular comorbidity) into account.
Women were more often treated with thiazide diuretics and beta blockers and men with ACE inhibitors and Ca channel blockers. Further women with diabetes and hypertension were not treated with ACEinhibitors and ARBS as often as their male counterparts.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Ljungman: The awareness of these differences among clinicians could lead to a more equal medication. According to guidelines patients with diabetes and hypertension should be treated with antihypertensives blocking the RAAS system to prevent renal failure. If female patients with diabetes and hypertension do not receive ACE inhibitors and ARBs they should bring this up and ask why they are not treated accoring to guidelines.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Ljungman: It would be interesting to known if the differences in treatment may have an impact on outcome. That we do not know yet. The combination of thiazide diuretics and beta blockers is known to induce diabetes. If women are more often treated with these drugs in combination this might influence outcome.