Type 2 diabetes is emerging as a major health problem, which tends to cluster with hypertension in individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
To test for the first time the hypothesis that treatment of hypertensive patients at high cardiovascular risk with the angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) valsartan prevents new-onset type 2 diabetes compared with the metabolically neutral calcium-channel antagonist (CCA) amlodipine.
Pre-specified analysis in the VALUE trial. Follow-up averaged 4.2 years. The risk of developing new diabetes was calculated as an odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for different definitions of diabetes.
A sample of 9995 high-risk, non-diabetic hypertensive patients.
Valsartan or amlodipine with or without add-on medication [hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and other add-ons, excluding other ARBs, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, CCAs].
Main outcome measure
New diabetes defined as an adverse event, new blood-glucose-lowering drugs and/or fasting glucose > 7.0 mmol/l.
New diabetes was reported in 580 (11.5%) patients on valsartan and in 718 (14.5%) patients on amlodipine (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.69–0.87, P < 0.0001). Using stricter criteria (without adverse event reports) new diabetes was detected in 495 (9.8%) patients on valsartan and in 586 (11.8%) on amlodipine (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.72–0.93, P = 0.0015).
Compared with amlodipine, valsartan reduces the risk of developing diabetes mellitus in high-risk hypertensive patients.