Background: Several recent clinical trials have demonstrated that angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) have cardiovascular as well as renal protective effects. Asian patients including Japanese were under-represented in these trials, however, and no large-scale clinical trials of ARBs have yet been performed in Japan. It is therefore important to verify that the results of these studies are also valid for Japanese patients. The JIKEI HEART Study has been designed to investigate whether concomitant treatment with valsartan, an angiotensin II receptor blocker, in addition to conventional treatment, will improve the prognosis of Japanese patients with cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure).
Method and Evaluation of Results: Around 3,000 patients with hypertension, ischemic heart disease and/or congestive heart failure will be randomized to receive either additional treatment with valsartan (80 mg/day) or conventional therapy. The follow-up period will be three years. The primary endpoint will be the onset of any cardiovascular event. Secondary endpoints will include death from any cause, changes in left ventricular size and function, renal function, changes in neuro-hormonal levels and quality-of-life assessments. Sub-studies will explore the effect in patients with diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia and the effects of combination of drugs.
Conclusion: Improved prognosis would confirm the role of angiotensin II receptor blockers in the treatment of the cardiovascular disease in Japanese patients.