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Drugs. 2001;61(13):1883-92.

Role of ACE inhibitors in patients with diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Service de N├ęphrologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble, France.


The adjective 'epidemic' is now attributed to the rapidly growing number of patients with diabetes mellitus, mainly type 2. and the specific complications linked to this disorder. Provided they are recognised early enough, these different complications can be treated; in some patients the evolutive course of these complications can be slowed or even stopped. Furthermore, some recent observations suggest that specific tissular lesions may be prevented or even reversed. Although glycaemic control is essential, other therapeutic measures that must also be taken include those to control blood pressure and to lower lipid levels. Of the agents available to control the complications of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular drugs, and particularly ACE inhibitors, have a pre-eminent place. Experimental and epidemiological data suggest that activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system plays an important role in increasing in the micro- and macrovascular complications in patients with diabetes mellitus. Not only are ACE inhibitors potent antihypertensive agents but there is a growing body of data indicating that also they have a specific 'organ-protective' effect. For the same degree of blood pressure control, compared with other antihypertensive agents, ACE inhibitors demonstrate function and tissue protection of considered organs. ACE inhibitors have been reported to improve kidney, heart, and to a lesser extent, eye and peripheral nerve function of patients with diabetes mellitus. These favourable effects are the result of inhibition of both haemodynamic and tissular effects of angiotensin II. Finally, there are a growing number of arguments favouring the use of ACE inhibitors very early in patients with diabetes mellitus.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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