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

and Professor of Cardiology and Deputy Director at the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide, Australia, used intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) to assess the degree of coronary disease progression in 458 patients at baseline and after 104 weeks of treatment with aliskiren or placebo. IVUS is a medical imaging technology in which a small ultrasound probe is inserted via a catheter into an artery, allowing physicians to examine the inside of arteries via sonogram.

"We found that aliskiren had a moderate effect on reducing blood pressure, substantially reduced renin activity, and produced a compensatory increase in renin concentration in the blood plasma," Dr. Nicholls said. "We also saw a bit of a trend toward regression in atherosclerosis. But our primary endpoint a decrease in the volume of disease in the artery did not meet statistical significance."

Although not a primary endpoint, the researchers did identify a decrease in major cardiovascular events including sudden death, stroke, and heart attack in patients on aliskiren. The data indicate that patients with heart disease and blood pressure in the prehypertensive range may benefit from more aggressive treatment of their blood pressure to get it lower than current guidelines suggest.

"We have to be cautious interpreting our results on cardiovascular events because this trial was not formally designed to look at these outcomes," said Steven Nissen, M.D., Chairman of the AQUARIUS trial executive committee and Chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. "However, the data indicate that renin inhibition is safe in patients who have coronary artery disease and have their blood pressure under control, and it may have some beneficial cardiovascular effects."


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Contact: Wyatt DuBois
duboisw@ccf.org
216-445-9946
Cleveland Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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