Study backs preventive use of long-acting CCBs

Cardiovascular - Long-acting calcium-channel blockers did not cause excess cardiovascular adverse effects.

Long-acting calcium-channel blockers (CCBs) can cut cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease, a meta-analysis has shown.

This finding runs contrary to previous suggestions that these medications increase the risk of MI and all-cause mortality in patients who have coronary artery disease.

Short-acting CCBs have been thought to be an unfavourable pharmacological treatment option for patients with coronary artery disease or hypertension.

However, these concerns have been extended to long- acting CCBs despite their effect on patients with coronary artery disease being poorly defined, US researchers said.

The researchers looked at 15 randomised controlled trials of long-acting CCBs in patients with coronary artery disease conducted between 1966 and 2008.

They found that there was a 28 per cent reduction in heart failure, 21 per cent reduction in stroke and 18 per cent reduction in angina pectoris in patients with coronary artery disease who had taken long-acting CCBs.

The researchers from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons said: 'Long-acting CCBs were not associated with any excess cardiovascular events and were associated with a reduction in the risk of stroke, angina pectoris and heart failure compared with the comparison group.'

They added: 'Long-acting CCBs should therefore be considered in the armamentarium of treatment for patients with coronary artery disease.'

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