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Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2009;5(1):411-27.

Choice of ACE inhibitor combinations in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes: update after recent clinical trials.

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  • 11Department of internal Medicine. University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy. paolo@unipg.it


The diabetes epidemic continues to grow unabated, with a staggering toll in micro- and macrovascular complications, disability, and death. Diabetes causes a two- to fourfold increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, and represents the first cause of dialysis treatment both in the UK and the US. Concomitant hypertension doubles total mortality and stroke risk, triples the risk of coronary heart disease and significantly hastens the progression of microvascular complications, including diabetic nephropathy. Therefore, blood pressure reduction is of particular importance in preventing cardiovascular and renal outcomes. Successful antihypertensive treatment will often require a combination therapy, either with separate drugs or with fixed-dose combinations. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor plus diuretic combination therapy improves blood pressure control, counterbalances renin-angiotensin system activation due to diuretic therapy and reduces the risk of electrolyte alterations, obtaining at the same time synergistic antiproteinuric effects. ACE inhibitor plus calcium channel blocker provides a significant additive effect on blood pressure reduction, may have favorable metabolic effects and synergistically reduce proteinuria and the rate of decline in glomerular filtration rate, as evidenced by the GUARD trial. Finally, the recently published ACCOMPLISH trial showed that an ACE inhibitor/calcium channel blocker combination may be particularly useful in reducing cardiovascular outcomes in high-risk patients. The present review will focus on different ACE inhibitor combinations in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension, in the light of recent clinical trials, including GUARD and ACCOMPLISH.

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