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Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Dec;19(6):1243-9. doi: 10.1177/1741826711423104. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Reduction of age-associated arterial wall changes by low-dose valsartan.

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Ljubljana University Medical Centre, University of Ljubljana, Korytkova 2, Ljubljana, Slovenia.



Functional and morphological arterial wall impairment progresses with ageing. Angiotensin II in the arterial wall is involved in this process. Appropriate early intervention might theoretically slow the progress of age-related changes. Herein, we investigated a new approach to this issue: whether arterial wall changes present in middle-aged males could be reduced by low-dose valsartan intervention.


Forty apparently healthy, middle-aged males (42.9 ± 0.9 years) were recruited for a double-blind randomized study and received either placebo or valsartan (20 mg daily) for 30 days. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), pulse wave velocity (PWV), and β-stiffness of the common carotid artery were measured using an Aloka alfa-10 Prosound with an integrated eTracking system at inclusion, after 30 days, and after 3 and 8 months.


Intervention resulted in FMD increase (154.2 ± 20.1 %; p < 0.001) and PWV and β-stiffness decrease compared to initial values (-6.9 ± 1.0 % and -13.2 ± 1.4 %; both p < 0.01) whereas values in the untreated group (p < 0.001 for all parameters) remained unchanged throughout the study. The advantageous effects decreased over the months following valsartan discontinuation, but were still significant after 3 months (largely in FMD and less in PWV and β-stiffness), and negligible after 8 months. The beneficial effects were ascribed to valsartan's pleiotropic effects, as no blood pressure changes were recorded.


We showed that age-related arterial wall changes in middle-aged males are reversible and could be reduced by a low-dose, short-term valsartan intervention. The new approach merits detailed investigation in future studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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