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J Hum Hypertens. 2011 Jan;25(1):63-70. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2010.19. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Preferential benefits of nifedipine GITS in systolic hypertension and in combination with RAS blockade: further analysis of the 'ACTION' database in patients with angina.

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Institute of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.


A retrospective analysis of the database from A Coronary Disease Trial Investigating Outcome with Nifedipine (ACTION) evaluated the effectiveness of nifedipine gastrointestinal therapeutic system (GITS) (i) in combination with renin angiotensin system (RAS) blockers and (ii) in patients with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH). Analysed on an intention-to-treat basis, treatment groups were compared by the log-rank test without adjustment for covariates and hazard ratios with 95% CIs were obtained using Cox proportional hazards models. Of 7665 randomized patients, 1732 patients were receiving RAS blockade at baseline, the addition of nifedipine GITS significantly reduced any cardiovascular (CV) event (-20%; P<0.05), the composite of death, any CV event and revascularization (-16%; P<0.05) and coronary angiography (-22%; P<0.01). These benefits were achieved with relatively small differences in systolic (3.2 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (BP) (2.3 mm Hg). In 2303 patients (30.0%) who had ISH at baseline (1145 nifedipine GITS and 1158 placebo), nifedipine significantly reduced the primary efficacy end point (-18%; P<0.03), any CV event (-22%; P<0.01) and new heart failure (-40%; P<0.01). The benefits were associated with between-group differences in achieved BP of 4.7 and 3.3 mm Hg for systolic and diastolic BP, respectively. In summary, the lowest CV event rates were seen in those receiving (i) the combination of RAS blockade and nifedipine GITS and (ii) in those specifically treated for ISH.

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