Impact of Losartan on Stroke Risk in Hypertensive Patients in Primary Care
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Background and objective: While a number of conditions and risk factors that increase stroke risk have been identified, arterial hypertension is the most consistent and powerful predictor. The angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist (angiotensin receptor blocker [ARB]) losartan has been shown in the LIFE (Losartan Intervention for Endpoint Reduction in Hypertension) study to decrease stroke risk in hypertensive patients to a substantially greater extent than conventional therapy. We aimed to assess the impact of the blood pressure-lowering effect of losartan therapy on stroke risk in hypertensive patients in primary care.
Methods: A total of 2977 primary-care practices throughout Germany included 22 499 consecutive unselected patients with a confirmed diagnosis of hypertension in an open-label, prospective, observational study. In addition to demographics, known risk factors for stroke were documented on standardised questionnaires. The 10-year predicted risk of first stroke was calculated according to the Framingham Stroke Risk Score at baseline and after a mean of 94 ± 24 days of losartan (± hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ]) therapy.
Results: The mean patient age was 64.1 ± 10.6 years, and 52.4% were males. Mean systolic/diastolic blood pressure decreased from 160 ± 15/93 ± 9mm Hg at baseline by −21 ± 14/−11 ± 9mm Hg. Besides hypertension, 84.9% of patients had other co-morbidities, of which the most frequent were hypercholesterolaemia (53.0%), diabetes mellitus (36.1%), coronary heart disease (31.1%) and left ventricular hypertrophy (24.2%). The average predicted 10-year stroke risk was 28.0 ± 21.9% at baseline, and 22.1 ± 19.5% at study end (relative risk reduction 24 ± 16%, p < 0.05). In subgroups of patients with diabetes or nephropathy, similar effects were noted. Drug-related adverse events were reported in 18 patients; all of these were non-serious.
Conclusion: Because of the high prevalence of co-morbidities and risk factors, the hypertensive patient population observed in this study presented with a high 10-year stroke risk. Treatment with losartan (± HCTZ) was well tolerated and led to a substantial decrease in blood pressure and associated stroke risk.
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- Impact of Losartan on Stroke Risk in Hypertensive Patients in Primary Care
Clinical Drug Investigation
Volume 27, Issue 5 , pp 347-355
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- 1. Medical Department, MSD Sharp & Dohme GmbH, Lindenplatz 1, D-85540, Haar, Germany
- 2. Institute for Clinical Pharmacology, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany
- 3. Institute for Practice Research, German Primary Care Physician Association (BDA), Nittendorf, Germany