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Losartan Lowers Blood Pressure in Blacks

Katherine M. Bennett

Drugs that block angiotensin II can reduce the blood pressure of African Americans with mild to moderate hypertension, according to a study presented in conjunction with the recent American College of Cardiology meeting.

Over 12 weeks, losartan or a combination product containing losartan and hydrochlorothiazide lowered the average diastolic and systolic blood pressures 6 to 17 mm Hg---statistically different from the effect of placebo. According to Merck & Co. Inc., which markets both drugs and funded the study, the results disprove the belief that African Americans with hypertension may not respond to this new class of drugs.