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Am J Kidney Dis. 2008 Sep;52(3):501-6. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2008.04.031. Epub 2008 Jul 24.

Effect of angiotensin receptor blockers on cardiovascular events in patients undergoing hemodialysis: an open-label randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Nephrology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Saitama Medical University, Saitama, Japan.



Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in patients with kidney failure treated with hemodialysis (HD). Although angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease, their effect in patients with kidney failure on HD therapy is not known.


Open-labeled randomized trial.


Patients aged 30 to 80 years receiving HD 2 to 3 times weekly for 1 to 5 years at 5 university-affiliated dialysis centers.


Treatment with ARBs (valsartan, candesartan, and losartan) versus without ARBs after stratification by sex, age, systolic blood pressure, and diabetes.


The primary end point is the development of fatal and nonfatal CVD events, defined as the composite of CVD death, myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass grafting, or percutaneous coronary intervention. The secondary end point is all-cause death.


366 subjects initially were randomly assigned to an ARB or no ARB (control), but after a run-in phase, 180 were retained in each group. Mean age was 60 years, 59% were men, 51% had diabetes, and mean predialysis systolic blood pressure was 154 mm Hg. There were 93 fatal or nonfatal CVD events (52%); 34 (19%) in the ARB group and 59 (33%) in the non-ARB group. After adjustment for age, sex, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, and center, treatment with an ARB was independently associated with reduced fatal and nonfatal CVD events (hazard ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.33 to 0.79; P = 0.002). There were 63 deaths (35%); 25 (14%) in the ARB group and 38 (21%) in the non-ARB group. After adjustment, all-cause mortality differed between the 2 groups (hazard ratio, 0.64; 95% confidence interval, 0.39 to 1.06; P = 0.1).


Because of the small sample size of this trial, the large effect may be a spurious finding. Use of an open-label design and 3 different agents in the ARB group might have influenced results.


Use of an ARB may be effective in reducing nonfatal CVD events in patients undergoing long-term HD. A larger study is required to confirm these results.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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