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Global study shows telmisartan reduces outcome of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke
Date:8/31/2008

HAMILTON August 31, 2008 -- An international study led by Canadian researchers has found that telmisartan, a medication used to lower blood pressure, reduced the outcome of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke in people who are unable to tolerate a widely available and effective standard treatment.

Dr. Salim Yusuf and Dr. Koon Teo, professors in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University and clinicians at Hamilton Health Sciences, led the study. Today the research results will be published online by The Lancet and presented at this year's European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, Germany.

ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, are widely used and effective medications used to lower blood pressure. They work by helping to widen blood vessels to improve blood flow. Approximately 20 per cent of patients who could benefit from an ACE inhibitor stop taking it because of cough, kidney problems, swelling or symptomatic low blood pressure.

Telmisartan is a type of angiotensin-receptor blocker, or ARB. Like ACE inhibitors, telmisartan also lowers blood pressure, but works in a different manner. ARBs block the receptor sites in the body for angiotensin II, a naturally occurring hormone that constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure.

The TRANSCEND (Telmisartan Randomized AssessmeNt Study in ACE iNtolerant subjects with cardiovascular Disease) study enrolled nearly 6,000 people worldwide who are intolerant to ACE inhibitors, and evaluated whether telmisartan compared to placebo would reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events. A high proportion of patients received proven therapies, such as statins, anti-platelet agents and beta-blockers. Physicians were also free to use other medications that could lower blood pressure.

The researchers found that the outcome of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke was modestly reduced when patients took telmis
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Contact: Susan Emigh
emighs@mcmaster.ca
905-518-3642
McMaster University
Source:Eurekalert

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