Bring Down Blood Pressure, Reduce Risk Of Kidney Failure
Posted November 19, 2002 5:41 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — Studies have shown that
high blood pressure
is a leading cause of kidney failure in the United States, especially among African-Americans.
Doctors said one out of five Americans has high blood pressure, but most like Alice Franklin are not aware of it.
"I was feeling fine. I had no idea that I was hypertensive," she said.
Franklin's doctors diagnosed her with high blood pressure four years ago, but that was only part of the problem.
"High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S.," said nephrologist Dr. Jackson Wright.
African-Americans are six times more likely to develop kidney disease from high blood pressure, according to doctors.
Franklin took part in a study in the Nov. 19 issue of the
Journal of American Medical Association
, which looked at the connection between blood pressure and kidney disease prevention.
The results revealed three major findings.
First, researchers said blood pressure is controllable, even for patients who are difficult to treat.
Second, ACE inhibitors were found to protect the kidneys better than other drugs.
Finally, once blood pressure drops to 140 over 90, the recommendation to prevent strokes and heart attacks, you do not have to go any further to prevent kidney failure.
"Exposure to additional medications, additional side effects, higher doses of medications becomes unnecessary," said Wright.
Franklin said she is thrilled with the results and progress she is making.
"It makes me feel that I'm going to live to be an old lady," she said.
While the study focused on African-Americans, doctors recommended that everyone have their blood pressure checked regularly.