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ACE Inhibitors Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke

Study Shows High Blood Pressure Drug Lowers Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death

'Amazing Medications'

In the HOPE study, roughly three out of four patients were also taking a blood thinner, a third were taking cholesterol-lowering statins, half were taking calcium channel blockers (another type of high blood pressure medication), and two out of five were taking beta-blockers.

"We showed that even when people were on other medications, they benefited from being on an ACE inhibitor," says Teo, who is a professor of medicine at Ontario's McMaster University.

Bolger says she hopes this and other studies showing the benefits of drug treatment "light a fire under us all" to make sure patients get the medications they need.

"We now have a tremendous number of tools including ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, antiplatelet (blood thinners) agents, and statins," she says. "These are amazing medications and when used correctly they can really change the whole outlook for someone who has had a heart attack or stroke. We need to do a better job of getting the message across to patients that if they stay on the right medications their outlook is very good."

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