Objective: To assess the antihypertensive efficacy of olmesartan medoxomil and ramipril on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in elderly hypertensive patients by pooled data analysis of two studies with identical designs (one Italian, one European).
Methods: After a 2-week placebo wash-out 1453 elderly hypertensive patients (65–89 years; sitting office DBP 90–109 mmHg and/or sitting office SBP 140–179 mmHg) were randomized to a 12-week double-blind treatment with olmesartan medoxomil 10 mg or ramipril 2.5 mg once-daily, up-titrated (20 and 40 mg olmesartan medoxomil; 5 and 10 mg ramipril) after 2 and 6 weeks in patients without normalized office BP. 24-h ABP was recorded at randomization and after 12 weeks.
Results: In 715 patients with valid baseline and end-of-treatment recordings baseline-adjusted 24-h SBP and DBP reductions were greater with olmesartan medoxomil (n = 356) than with ramipril (n = 359) [between-treatment differences and 95% confidence interval (CI), SBP: 2.2 (3.8, 0.6), P = 0.006; DBP: 1.3 (2.2, 0.3), P = 0.009]. Olmesartan medoxomil showed larger BP reductions in the last 6 h from the dosing interval and higher smoothness indices than ramipril. Olmesartan medoxomil reduced the SBP morning rise [−2.8 (−4.9, −0.8) mmHg], whereas ramipril did not [+1.5 (–0.6, +3.6) mmHg; P = 0.004 between-treatments]. Five hundred and eighty-two patients with sustained hypertension (office and 24-h ambulatory hypertension) showed the largest antihypertensive effect, with between-treatment differences still in favor of olmesartan medoxomil [SBP: 2.1 (3.9, 0.4), P = 0.019; DBP: 1.2 (2.3, 0.1), P = 0.032].
Conclusions: Olmesartan medoxomil provides a more effective and sustained 24-h BP control than ramipril in elderly hypertensive patients, particularly in the hours farthest from last intake.