Blood Pressure Drugs Help Prevent Stroke, Heart Attack

Review of the data suggests ACE inhibitors are lifesavers

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TUESDAY, April 11, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Common blood pressure drugs called angiotensin-coverting enzyme ("ACE") inhibitors may also reduce risks for heart attack, stroke, and death in people with coronary artery disease, a new analysis finds.

French researchers at the Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou, Paris, analyzed findings from seven previous studies that tested five different ACE inhibitors in nearly 34,000 coronary artery disease patients tracked for a minimum of two years and an average of 4.4 years.

When the findings from all the studies were combined, they indicated that treatment with ACE inhibitors significantly reduced the risk of death from any cause and also appeared to reduce the risk of onset of diabetes and hospitalization for congestive heart failure and cardiac arrest.

"Active treatment was associated with a highly significant reduction in all-cause mortality and all major cardiovascular events," the review authors reported in the April 10 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

"These results, along with those previously reported in patients who have coronary artery disease with left ventricular dysfunction or heart failure, suggest that ACE inhibitor therapy should be systematically used in all patients with documented coronary artery disease," they concluded.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about coronary artery disease.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, April 10, 2006

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