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Irbesartan Does Not Prevent Cardiovascular Events in A-Fib

Not effective in lowering rate of stroke, myocardial infarction, death from vascular causes

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- The angiotensin-receptor blocker irbesartan fails to lower the rate of cardiovascular events in patients with atrial fibrillation, according to research published in the March 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Salim Yusuf, D.Phil., of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues with the Atrial Fibrillation Clopidogrel Trial with Irbesartan for Prevention of Vascular Events group randomized 9,016 patients with risk factors for stroke and systolic blood pressure of 110 mm Hg or higher to irbesartan or placebo and followed them for a mean of 4.1 years to investigate whether the agent reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in people with atrial fibrillation.

The researchers found that patients in the irbesartan group experienced a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure 2.9 mm Hg greater than the placebo group and a mean reduction in diastolic blood pressure 1.9 mm Hg greater. There was no significant difference, however, between the two groups in the incidence of stroke, myocardial infarction, or death from vascular causes, or in this composite outcome plus hospitalization due to heart failure. In addition, more individuals in the irbesartan group than in the placebo group had renal dysfunction and symptomatic hypotension.

"Irbesartan did not reduce cardiovascular events in patients with atrial fibrillation," the authors conclude.

The study was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis; several authors disclosed financial relationships with various pharmaceutical companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

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