Captopril does not improve insulin action in essential hypertension: A double-blind placebo-controlled study

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To compare the effect of captopril with that of placebo on peripheral and hepatic insulin action in essential hypertension, in light of evidence that insulin resistance is associated with cardiovascular risk.


Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, with 8 week treatment periods of captopril and placebo preceded and separated by 6 weeks of placebo.


Belfast teaching hospital.


Eighteen Caucasian nondiabetic patients (10 males), aged under 65 years, with essential hypertension, recruited from general practices in the greater Belfast area.


Captopril at 50 mg twice a day or placebo twice a day for two 8 week treatment periods.

Main outcome measures

Peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity assessed by glucose clamps.


Fourteen patients completed the study. Mean (± SEM) levels of fasting glucose, fasting insulin and postabsorptive hepatic glucose production were similar after captopril and placebo (5.4 ± 0.1 versus 5.4 ± 0.1 mmol/l, 10.6 ± 2.2 versus 9.5 ± 1.1 mU/l, 11.2 ± 0.6 versus 11.0 ± 0.5 mmol/kg per min, respectively). During hyperinsulinaemia, hepatic glucose production was suppressed to comparable levels after both treatments (4.8 ± 0.6 versus 4.3 ± 0.6 mmol/kg per min) and exogenous glucose infusion rates required to maintain euglycaemia were also similar (30.0 ± 2.6 versus 30.3 ± 2.6 mmol/kg per min).


Captopril therapy in uncomplicated essential hypertension has no effect on peripheral or hepatic insulin sensitivity.

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