Treatment Guidelines Call for ACE Inhibitors

New recommendations suggest increased use of blood pressure drugs for stable angina

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Increased use of ACE inhibitor drugs could reduce heart attacks and strokes and save the lives of people with chronic chest pain caused by stable angina.

That finding is behind new treatment guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors are a class of drugs used to treat high blood pressure.

Stable angina refers to chest discomfort that does not change for weeks or months and usually occurs during exertion or when a person is emotionally upset.

The new guidelines recommend that ACE inhibitors should be routinely offered to people who have had a heart attack or those with coronary artery disease that's been documented with angiography, if those people also have diabetes or diminished function in their heart's left ventricle.

Dr. Robert O. Bonow, president of the American Heart Association, says the new ACE inhibitor guidelines should significantly reduce the rates of heart attack, stroke and death.

He says the ACE inhibitors benefit these people by lowering blood pressure, dilating blood vessels, slowing plaque growth in arteries, and preventing blood clots.

The new guidelines are based on findings from the Heart Outcome Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial, which compared the ACE inhibitor ramipril against a placebo in more than 9,000 people with vascular disease.

More information

You can check out the new guidelines at the American College of Cardiology.

SOURCE: American College of Cardiology, news release, Nov. 17, 2002
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