In a meta-analysis, we investigated the effects of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in comparison to placebo or other classes of antihypertensive drugs on endothelial function, which was measured by brachial flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD).Methods:
We searched for randomized controlled trials that compared ARBs with placebo or other classes of antihypertensive drugs in improving FMD. A random-effect model was used to compute pooled estimates.Results:
In 13 trials (n = 529), ARBs were more efficacious in improving brachial FMD than placebo [pooled weighted mean change difference (WMD) 1.34%, 95% CI, 0.93-1.75%, p < 0.001]. In 15 trials (n = 918), treatment with ARBs had a significant effect on brachial FMD when compared with other antihypertensive drugs (pooled WMD 0.59%, 95% CI, 0.20-0.98%, p = 0.003 with significant heterogeneity). ARBs were also more efficacious in improving brachial FMD than calcium channel blockers (CCBs; pooled WMD 1.61%, 95% CI, 0.72-2.49%, p < 0.001) but not the other classes of drugs (p ≥ 0.072).Conclusions:
This meta-analysis shows that ARBs improve brachial FMD, a marker of endothelial function, and that they are superior to placebo and CCBs. There was no significant difference in the effect on brachial FMD between ARBs and the other antihypertensive drugs.