Candesartan May Help Prevent Hypertension

Study shows that candesartan reduces progression of pre-hypertension to hypertension

TUESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of pre-hypertension with candesartan may reduce the risk of incident hypertension, according to a study released March 14 in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American College of Cardiology annual conference in Atlanta.

Stevo Julius, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues randomly assigned 809 middle-aged participants with pre-hypertension to receive either candesartan or a placebo for two years, and all participants received a placebo for an additional two years.

During the first two years, the researchers found that hypertension developed in 53 participants in the candesartan group, compared to 154 participants in the placebo group. After four years, the researchers found that hypertension developed in 208 participants in the candesartan group, compared to 240 in the placebo group, indicating a relative risk reduction of 15.6 percent.

"Currently, recommendations for the management of pre-hypertension propose a healthful diet including sodium restriction, enhanced physical activity, weight loss, and moderation of alcohol intake," states the author of an accompanying editorial, adding that while pharmacotherapy may be a more convenient intervention, it raises many questions. "Foremost, we need to understand the price in terms of patient safety and, possibly, prohibitive financial costs of what would approach population-wide drug treatment."

Several of the researchers have been paid by drug companies for consulting and lecturing.

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