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A systematic review of the blood pressure lowering efficacy of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers for primary hypertension Heran, Balraj Singh

Abstract

Context: Although the long-term goal of antihypertensive therapy is to reduce adverse clinical outcomes, the only way to evaluate the efficacy of treatment in an individual is the magnitude of blood pressure (BP) reduction. ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are two drug classes that, by different mechanisms, inhibit the renin-angiotensin- aldosterone system that regulates BP. As these drugs are widely prescribed for hypertension, it is essential to determine and compare their effects on BP, heart rate and tolerability. Objectives: 1) To determine the dose-related effect of ACE inhibitors and ARBs on BP, heart rate and withdrawals due to adverse effects (WDAE), compared with placebo in the treatment of primary hypertension (SBP ≥ 140 mm Hg and/or ≥ DPB 90 mm Hg); and 2) To compare the relative effect on BP, heart rate and WDAE of a) each ACE inhibitor with other ACE inhibitors, b) each ARB with other ARBs, and c) all ACE inhibitors with all ARBs. Methods: Two systematic reviews of published, double-blind, randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the BP lowering efficacy of fixed dose monotherapy with an ACE inhibitor or ARB compared with placebo for a duration of 3 to 12 weeks in patients with primary hypertension were conducted. Electronic databases were searched for RCTs and similar trial inclusion criteria and methods of analysis were used in both reviews. Results: Ninety two RCTs evaluated the dose-related BP lowering efficacy of 14 ACE inhibitors in 12 954 participants with a baseline BP of 157.1/101.2 mm Hg. Forty six RCTs evaluated the dose-related BP lowering efficacy of 9 ARBs in 13 451 participants with a baseline BP of 155.6/101.0 mm Hg. The best estimate of the near maximal trough BP reduction for ACE inhibitors and ARBs was -8/-5 mm Hg and -8/-5 mm Hg, respectively. ACE inhibitors and ARBs do not affect heart rate. The evidence for short-term WDAE (tolerability) was incomplete and weak and did not demonstrate a difference between the two classes of drugs. Conclusion: ACE inhibitors and ARBs are not different individually or as drug classes in BP lowering efficacy.

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