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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2005 Mar;7(3):152-8.

The effects of losartan compared to atenolol on stroke in patients with isolated systolic hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy. The LIFE study.

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Department of Cardiology, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


The Losartan Intervention For Endpoint reduction in hypertension (LIFE) study reported that a losartan-based antihypertensive regimen reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality (composite of cardiovascular death, stroke, and myocardial infarction) more than therapy based on atenolol in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy and isolated systolic hypertension (ISH). Patients aged 55-80 years with blood pressures 160-200/<90 mm Hg were followed for a mean of 4.7 years. Blood pressure was similarly reduced in the losartan (n=660) and atenolol (n=666) ISH groups. There were 88 (6.6%) patients who experienced a stroke, 18 of which were fatal. Of patients experiencing strokes, 72.7% had an ischemic stroke. ISH patients in LIFE compared to the non-ISH group had a higher incidence of any stroke and embolic stroke, and similar incidences of fatal, atherosclerotic, and hemorrhagic/other strokes. The incidence of any stroke (40% risk reduction [RR], p=0.02), fatal stroke (70% RR, p=0.035), and atherothrombotic stroke (45% RR, p=0.022) was significantly lower in losartan-treated compared to the atenolol-treated patients. The 36% RR for embolic strokes in the losartan group was not statistically significantly (p=0.33) different from the atenolol group. These data suggest that losartan-based treatment is more effective than an atenolol-based treatment for patients with ISH and a high risk for stroke.

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