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Common Blood Pressure Drug Safe for Heart Failure: Study
Date:4/10/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although research has suggested that the blood pressure drug losartan (Cozaar) may be tied to an increased risk of death in heart-failure patients compared to a similar medication, a new study finds that's not the case.

"Use of this and other similar drugs has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with heart failure," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, co-director of the Preventative Cardiology Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, commenting on the study results.

An earlier observational study in patients with heart failure suggested that losartan was associated with higher risk of death compared to the drug candesartan (Atacand), he said.

"There were, however, a number of limitations to this prior study that could have biased these results, including differences in dosing and treating physicians," said Fonarow, who was not involved in the studies.

The new research, conducted in Denmark, finds no meaningful difference in survival among heart failure patients treated with losartan or candesartan, he said.

"This study also finds for both agents that the use of higher doses, as recommended in guidelines, is associated with better outcomes than the use of lower doses," Fonarow said.

The report was published in the April 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, means the heart is unable to pump blood to the rest of the body the way it should.

For the study, Henrik Svanstrom, from the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, and colleagues collected data on nearly 6,500 heart failure patients who had recently started taking losartan (4,397 patients) or candesartan (2,082 patients).

Both are a type of drug called angiotensin II receptor b
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