Combination therapy 'does not cut cardiovascular risk'

Combination therapy with angiotensin II-receptor blockers (ARBs) and ACE inhibitors does not appear to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death among patients with heart failure compared with ACE inhibitor therapy alone, a Swiss study has found.

Combination therapy did not affect cardiovascular risk
Combination therapy did not affect cardiovascular risk

Instead, the researchers found that combination therapy was associated with more adverse events such as worsening renal function and symptomatic hypertension.

For the study, a meta-analysis of eight trials involving 18,061 patients was carried out. All of the trials compared the combination of ARBs and ACE inhibitors with ACE inhibitor therapy in patients with heart failure.

No difference in overall mortality rates was seen between patients on combination therapy and ACE inhibitor therapy.

The researchers, led by Dr Alain Nordmann, from the University Hospital Basel, concluded that ‘combined therapy with ARBs and ACE inhibitors may be reserved for patients who remain symptomatic on therapy with ACE inhibitors under strict monitoring'.

Research was presented at this week's European Society of Cardiology conference in Barcelona, Spain.

* Read two pages of news from this conference in this week's GP dated 4 September.



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