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Angiotensin II receptor blockers and myocardial infarction: an updated analysis of randomized clinical trials

Volpe, Massimoa,b; Tocci, Giulianoa; Sciarretta, Sebastianoa; Verdecchia, Paoloc; Trimarco, Brunob,d; Mancia, Giuseppee

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32832961ed
Original papers: Meta-analyses

Objective To evaluate the effects of treatments based on angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) on the risk of myocardial infarction (MI), cardiovascular and all-cause death, as compared with conventional treatment or placebo.

Methods We performed a meta-analysis of all available major international, randomized clinical trials (20 trials, n = 108 909 patients, mean age 66.5 ± 4.1 years), published by 31 August 2008, comparing ARBs with other drugs or conventional therapies (placebo) and reporting MI incidence.

Results During a mean follow-up of 3.3 ± 1.1 years, a total of 2374/53 208 and 2354/53 153 cases of MI were recorded in ARB-based groups and in comparator arms, respectively [odds ratio (OR) 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.008 (0.950–1.069)]. Risks of MI were not different when tested in different clinical conditions, including hypertension, high cardiovascular risk, stroke, coronary disease, renal disease and heart failure. No significant differences in the risk of MI between treatment with ARBs versus placebo [OR 95% CI 0.944 (0.841–1.060)], beta-blockers and diuretics [OR 95% CI 0.970 (0.804–1.170)], calcium channel blockers [OR 95% CI 1.112 (0.971–1.272)], or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors [OR 95% CI 1.008 (0.926–1.099)] were observed. Analysis of trials comparing combination therapy based on ARBs plus ACE inhibitors versus active treatments or placebo showed equivalent MI risk [OR 95% CI 0.996 (0.896–1.107)].

Conclusion The present meta-analysis indicates that the risk of MI is comparable with use of ARBs and other antihypertensive drugs in a wide range of clinical conditions.

aDivision of Cardiology, II Faculty of Medicine, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy

bIRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli (IS), Italy

cDepartment of Cardiology, “Santa Maria della Misericordia” Hospital, Perugia, Italy

dDepartment of Clinical Medicine and Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy

eUniversity of Milano-Bicocca, Ospedale San Gerardo di Monza, Monza, Italy

Received 28 October, 2008

Revised 6 January, 2009

Accepted 15 January, 2009

Correspondence to Massimo Volpe, MD, FAHA, FESC, Chair and Division of Cardiology, II Faculty of Medicine, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Via di Grottarossa 1035-9, 00189 Rome, Italy Tel: +39 06 3377 5654; fax: +39 06 3377 5061; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.