Angiotensin Receptor Blockers Do Not Reduce Risk of Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Death, or Total Mortality: Further Evidence for the ARB-MI Paradox
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- angiotensin II receptor blocker
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor
- cardiovascular mortality
- myocardial infarction
Opposing Viewpoint, see p 2085
Angiotensin Receptor Blockers: Myocardial Infarction is Not Reduced
Individual trials of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and systematic meta-analyses have repeatedly demonstrated the ARB class to significantly reduce systemic blood pressure, stroke, and the subsequent development of heart failure and diabetes mellitus.1 However, no individual trial or meta-analysis has observed an impact of ARB treatment on the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI), cardiovascular mortality, or all-cause mortality (Table). All-cause mortality is the most comprehensive summary indicator of cardiovascular benefit of treatment2 and, consequently, it is surprising that ARBs have no impact given the other clinical benefits we have just acknowledged.
A systematic review/meta-analysis conducted by Bangalore et al3 demonstrated that in 20 trials of ARB versus placebo (n=66 282) and 21 trials of ARB versus active comparator (n=39 738), ARB in no individual trial improved all-cause mortality. Furthermore, when the trials were analyzed in combination, the impact of ARB on mortality was precisely zero compared with placebo (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence limit, 0.96–1.06) and virtually zero compared with an active comparator (odds ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence limit, 0.95–1.03). Placebo-controlled trials are the most rigorous method of assessing treatment efficacy (as well as harm), and, consequently, it is concerning that other meta-analyses of ARBs versus …