A new drug for the new year

Imagine that you are a physician and your patient is a 55-year-old white male with high blood pressure. He has no other medical problems, is on no medications, and has completed a 1-year program of diet and exercise to control his condition, but his blood pressure remains elevated at 170/105 (140/90 is the definition of high blood pressure).

As his physician, you have to decide on a medication to prescribe him in order to lower his blood pressure. You have the following options to choose from:

Diuretics:
Diuretics are medications that lower blood pressure by getting rid of excess fluid in your body, making it easier for your heart to pump. They were first introduced in the 1950s.
Beta-blockers:
Beta-blockers are medications that lower blood pressure by helping the heart to relax and pump more effectively, and by also reducing heart rate. They were first introduced in the 1960s.
ACE inhibitors:
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are medications that lower blood pressure by widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow. They were first introduced in 1981.
Calcium channel blockers:
Calcium channel blockers are medications that lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, reducing the heart's workload, and increasing the amount of blood and oxygen that reach the heart. They were also first introduced in 1981.

What type of medication would you prescribe this patient?

  • A diuretic
  • A beta-blocker
  • An ACE inhibitor
  • A calcium channel blocker