Date: 04 Nov 2012

Treating Hypertension with Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers

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Abstract

The clinical use of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) has resulted in the effective and successful treatment of arterial hypertension, and vast experience has been gained by physicians in this original indication over the last years. Furthermore, promising results have been obtained with the use of ARBs in other clinical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus with nephropathy, atrial fibrillation, acute myocardial infarction complicated by left ventricular dysfunction and congestive heart failure. On the basis of the available evidence, some representative molecules of this class have been approved for other indications in addition to hypertension in many countries, and many large clinical investigations are underway to confirm the current indications and, even more importantly, to explore whether these compounds may be effectively used in other conditions. The evidence that ARBs can have benefits at any stage of the cardiovascular disease continuum underlies the potential beneficial effects of these agents — independent of blood pressure reduction — in a wide variety of patients at risk of cardiovascular major events.