Renin–Angiotensin System Modulators Modestly Reduce Vascular Risk in Persons With Prior Stroke
Background and Purpose—Although the efficacy of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in reducing future vascular events for patients with coronary heart disease is established, less is known about the precise benefit of these agents among patients with stroke. We evaluated whether use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers reduces future vascular events in persons with prior stroke.
Methods—We searched PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and bibliographies of relevant trials and recent review articles to identify randomized controlled trials. Relative risk with 95% CI was used as a measure of the association between use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers and risks of major vascular event (nonfatal stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or death from cardiovascular causes) or stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic) after pooling data across trials.
Results—Eight randomized controlled trials with 29 667 participants were identified. Use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers in persons with prior stroke was associated with lower risks of future major vascular events (relative risk, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.87–0.97; P=0.001; number needed to treat=71) and recurrent stroke (relative risk, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.86–0.99; P=0.03; number needed to treat=143). Heterogeneity was found among studies for end points of major vascular events (P=0.02, I2=61%) but not recurrent stroke (P=0.38, I2=6%). In subgroup analyses, there was generally no obvious heterogeneity among different study characteristics.
Conclusions—Treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker has a clear but rather modest effect on reducing vascular risk in persons with prior stroke.
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
- angiotensin receptor blockers
- major vascular disease
- randomized controlled trial
- renin–angiotensin system
- Received July 13, 2011.
- Revision received August 23, 2011.
- Accepted September 9, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.