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Cleveland Clinic research finds blood pressure drug tends to slow coronary disease
Date:9/8/2013

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, Cleveland: Patients with clogged and hardened arteries who already have their blood pressure under control may benefit from an additional blood pressure-lowering medication, according to research from the Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research (C5Research).

The researchers found that the renin-inhibitor aliskiren tended to slow coronary disease progression and reduced the risk of death, stroke and heart attack in these patients by about 50 percent, compared to placebo, suggesting that patients with prehypertension may benefit from blood pressure lowering drugs.

The results of the AQUARIUS (Aliskerin Quantitative Atherosclerosis Regression Intravascular Ultrasound Study) trial were presented today at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2013 and published simultaneously in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Aliskiren affects the body's renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), a hormone system that regulates blood pressure and has been shown in prior studies to play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, or the hardening or clogging of the arteries. As a renin inhibitor, aliskiren partially blocks renin from triggering the RAAS process and is approved to treat hypertension to optimal guidelines of 140/90 mmHg, or the high end of the prehypertensive range.

AQUARIUS, a prospective, randomized, multicenter, double-blind clinical trial, was designed to test whether renin inhibition could slow or reverse the progression of coronary artery disease in patients who have their blood pressure under control in the prehypertensive range. The study also looked at whether these patients would benefit from additional blood pressure-lowering medication, even though their blood pressure was considered to be under control.

A team of researchers led by Stephen J. Nicholls, M.D., Ph.D., senior consultant to Cleveland Clinic's C5Research
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Contact: Wyatt DuBois
duboisw@ccf.org
216-445-9946
Cleveland Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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