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Two Blood Pressure Drugs Linked to Lower Risk of Hospitalization for Heart Disease in Diabetics

Telmisartan and valsartan are more beneficial than other ARBs, study shows (July 8)

Two drugs, telmisartan and valsartan, which are used to reduce blood pressure (BP) in diabetic patients, are associated with a lower risk of hospitalization for heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, according to a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Disease-related vascular illnesses are the main causes of death in patients with type-2 diabetes. Angiotensin-receptor blockers, including telmisartan, valsartan, candesartan, irbesartan, and losartan, are generally used interchangeably to control BP. However, there is some evidence from small trials that telmisartan has slightly different properties than other angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and may improve cardiovascular health.

In a retrospective population-based study, researchers looked at data from 54,186 Ontario, Canada, residents over age 66 with diabetes who took ARBs between April 1, 2001 and March 31, 2010. The study’s objective was to determine whether there was a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in people taking telmisartan compared with other drugs in the same class.

The researchers found that telmisartan and valsartan were associated with a significantly lower risk of hospitalization for heart attack, stroke, or heart failure compared with other ARBs, particularly irbesartan.

In this patient population, it may be preferable to use either telmisartan or valsartan for the prevention of macrovascular disease, the authors say.

Source: CMAJ; July 8, 2013.

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