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Hypertens Res. 2010 Mar;33(3):197-202. doi: 10.1038/hr.2009.199. Epub 2009 Dec 4.

Discharge use of angiotensin receptor blockers provides comparable effects with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors on outcomes in patients hospitalized for heart failure.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan.


Large-scale, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials have shown that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) reduce mortality and hospitalization in patients with heart failure (HF) caused by left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD). However, it is unknown whether ACE inhibitors and ARBs have similar effects on the long-term outcomes in HF patients encountered in routine clinical practice. The Japanese Cardiac Registry of Heart Failure in Cardiology enrolled HF patients hospitalized with worsening symptoms and they were followed during an average of 2.2 years. The outcome data were compared in patients with LVSD by echocardiography (ejection fraction, EF <40%) according to the predischarge use of ACE inhibitors (n=356) or ARBs (n=372). The clinical characteristics were similar between patients with ACE inhibitor and ARB use, except for higher prevalence of hypertensive etiology and diabetes mellitus. There was no significant difference between ACE inhibitor and ARB use in all-cause death (adjusted hazard ratio 0.958, 95% confidence interval 0.601-1.527, P=0.858) and rehospitalization (adjusted hazard ratio 0.964, 95% confidence interval 0.683-1.362, P=0.836). The effects of ACE inhibitor and ARB use on the outcomes were generally consistent across all clinically relevant subgroups examined, including age, sex, etiology, EF, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and beta-blocker use. Discharge use of ARBs provided comparable effects with ACE inhibitors on outcomes in patients hospitalized for HF. These findings provide further support for guideline recommendations that ARBs can be used in patients with HF and LVSD as an alternative of ACE inhibitors.

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