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ACE Inhibitors Help All Heart Patients

Even Those With Moderate Risk or Already on Other Medications May Benefit, Study Shows

Analyzing the Benefits of ACE Inhibitors continued...

But when Dagenais and colleagues controlled for these differences, they concluded this was not the case.

They found patients who had a very low risk of having a heart attack or stroke-- even those whose risk was as low as 1.7% per year - lowered the risk even further when they took an ACE inhibitor.

"The use of ACE inhibitors should be considered in all patients with vascular disease [atherosclerosis] as long as they can tolerate these agents and the absolute benefits are judged to be valuable," they write.

Second Opinion

Two drug researchers who weighed in on the issue in an editorial published with the study remain unconvinced.

Giuseppe Remuzzi and Piero Ruggenenti, of Italy's Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, take issue with the conclusions from the new analysis. They write that ACE inhibitors appear to offer "no added benefit to low-risk patients already on aspirin, beta blockers, and statins."

American Heart Association spokesman Richard Stein, MD, tells WebMD that patients with heart disease should discuss their treatment options with their doctor, including whether to add an ACE inhibitor to the drugs they are already taking.

Stein is director of preventive cardiology at New York City's Beth Israel Medical Center.

"The question, 'Do I add an ACE inhibitor to what I am already doing to reduce my risk?' is a reasonable one, and for many patients the answer will be 'yes,'" Stein says.

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