Your Health: 12-10-12 Weight and high blood pressure

New research could change the way high blood pressure is treated.

Doctors in New York have learned that lean and obese people react differently to different blood pressure medications.

Researchers at Downstate Medical Center of the State University of New York in New York City found that taking a patient's weight into account when choosing blood pressure medications might help prevent strokes, heart attacks and death.

The lead researcher, Dr. Michael Weber, says although diuretics, which reduce excess water in the body, are effective in obese patients, they can harm thin patients, and should be relegated to a third-line therapy.

Weber says, "Unexpectedly, people who have high blood pressure and are fat actually have a better prognosis than people who have high blood pressure and are thin."

The study appears in the online edition of The Lancet. ##