Angiotensin receptor blocker reduces CV death risk

Treatment with the angiotensin receptor blocker telmisartan can reduce the risk of CV death in high-risk patients who are intolerant to ACE inhibitors, according to Canadian research

This latest study builds on earlier research from the ONTARGET trial which first showed that telmisartan was as effective as ramipril at reducing CVD risk and better tolerated with lower rates of cough (GP, 11, April).

The TRANSCEND study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich on Sunday, found that the use of telmisartan (80mg daily) reduced the risk of cardiovascular death in high-risk patients by 13 per cent compared with placebo after 56 months.

The secondary endpoint of the study showed that the use of telmisartan was just as effective as the current gold-standard ACE inhibitor rampril.

Study researcher Professor Koon Teo, from the department of medicine at McMasters University in Ontario, said that telmisartan offered an alternative to angiotension-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

‘ACE inhibitors are very effective but about 20 per cent of patients experience serious side-effects ranging from cough to hypertension.’

Primary Care Cardiovascular Society member Dr Sarah Jarvis said that GPs had lacked a proven alternative to ramipril.

‘We now have the evidence to show that telmisartan protects against heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.’

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

European Society of Cardiology conference Munich 2008

The Lancet online

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