The blood pressure-lowering drugs called ACE inhibitors provide almost ten percent greater protection against coronary heart disease, compared with angiotensin receptor blockers, says new research published in the Journal of Hypertension by The George Institute for International Health.
Coronary heart disease is the leading single cause of death in Australia, accounting for over a third of all deaths*. The risk of coronary heart disease is significantly reduced by commonly used drugs that lower blood pressure, including ACE (angiotensin-coverting enzyme) inhibitors and ARB (angiotensin receptor blockers).
Leading the study at The George Institute, Dr Fiona Turnbull says that "Our research evaluated the effects of both drugs, and found that they both provided comparable blood pressure reduction. However, ACE inhibitors reduced the risk of coronary heart disease in patients by a further 9%. This so-called blood pressure-independent effect was not seen for ARBs."
"Around 500,000 people are diagnosed with high blood pressure by their GP each year. Given the very large numbers of people take blood pressure-lowering treatments, this research will help GPs to better manage the risk of heart disease in their patients," she said.
The findings are based on data from more than 160,000 patients and use sophisticated statistical methods to identify blood pressure-dependent and independent components of the treatment outcomes.
This latest finding represents an important extension to the work already conducted by The Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration, which has been acknowledged for its extensive research on the beneficial effects of blood-pressure lowering. Previous research has shown the benefits of blood pressure-lowering drugs, and that aggressive treatment to drive blood pressure down below usual targets provides even greater protection against stroke, coronary heart disease and other complications.
The Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration was established in 1995 by The George Institute for International Health with the aim of providing clinicians and policymakers with the best available evidence on the effects of different blood pressure drugs.
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