Antihypertensive treatment and stroke prevention: From recent meta-analyses to the PRoFESS trial
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Blood pressure control is the cornerstone of therapeutic interventions aimed at preventing first strokes and recurrent strokes. All antihypertensive drug classes may be useful in preventing cerebrovascular events, depending on their efficacy in lowering elevated blood pressure values and achieving blood pressure control. However, recent findings indicate that drugs acting on the renin-angiotensin system (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers) may exert cerebrovascular protective effects in addition to blood pressure reduction. This article examines the cerebrovascular protection provided by antihypertensive drug treatment in the light of the results of recent meta-analyses and of the findings of the Prevention Regimen for Effectively Avoiding Second Strokes (PRoFESS) trial.