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Hypertension Research
Vol. 26 (2003) No. 8 August P 609-614



Clinical studies

When observed in elderly hypertensive patients, increased pulse pressure (PP) and arterial stiffness are known to be independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Increased systolic blood pressure (SBP) leads to left ventricular hypertrophy, while decreased diastolic blood pressure (DBP) results in decreased coronary circulation. It is known that increased arterial stiffness is the major cause of increased PP. Thus basic morbid states of cardiac failure or ischemic heart diseases are more likely to develop in elderly hypertensive patients with increased PP and arterial stiffness, and there is need of antihypertensive drugs that decrease these effects in elderly hypertensives. In this study, we compared the effects of an angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB: valsartan), an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I: temocapril), and long-acting Ca antagonists (L- and N-type Ca channel blocker: cilnidipine; and L-type Ca channel blocker: nifedipine CR) on PP and arterial stiffness measured by pulse wave velocity in elderly hypertensive patients for 3 months. The ARB yielded the largest reductions in PP and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), followed by the ACE-I and L- and N-type Ca channel blocker, while the L-type Ca channel blocker yielded no improvement. The effects on arterial stiffness and PP thus varied among the drug characteristics. Although ARB achieved the largest reduction in baPWV, this decrease was not associated with any reductions in PP, SBP, DBP, or mean blood pressure, as were the baPWV-decreases achieved by the other drugs, suggesting that ARB may further reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis in elderly hypertensive patients by decreasing arterial stiffness in addition to its antihypertensive effect. (Hypertens Res 2003; 26: 609-614)

Copyright © 2003 by the Japanese Society of Hypertension

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