ACE Inhibition But Not Angiotensin II Antagonism Reduces Plasma Fibrinogen and Insulin Resistance in Overweight Hypertensive Patients

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The aim of this study was to compare the effects of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor perindopril and the angiotensin II antagonist losartan on insulin sensitivity and plasma fibrinogen in overweight hypertensive patients. Twenty-eight overweight mild to moderate [diastolic blood pressure (DBP) >90 and <110 mm Hg] hypertensives aged 43-64 years, after a 4-week placebo period, were randomized to perindopril, 4 mg o.d., or losartan, 50 mg o.d., for 6 weeks. Then, after a new placebo period, patients were crossed to the alternative regimen for further 6 weeks. At the end of the placebo and of the treatment periods, blood pressure was measured, plasma fibrinogen was evaluated, and insulin sensitivity was assessed by the euglycemic, hyperinsulinemic clamp technique. Glucose infusion rate (GIR) during the last 30 min of clamp and total glucose requirement (TGR) were evaluated. Both perindopril and losartan reduced SBP (by a mean of 20.2 mm Hg, p < 0.001 vs. placebo; and 15.8 mm Hg, p = 0.002 vs. placebo, respectively) and DBP (by a mean of 15.2 mm Hg, p = 0.001 vs. placebo, and 11.8 mm Hg, p = 0.01 vs. placebo respectively), with no difference between the two treatments. GIR was significantly increased by perindopril (+2.91 mg/min/kg, p = 0.042 vs. placebo), but not by losartan (+0.28 mg/min/kg, NS). TGR was not modified by losartan but was increased by perindopril (+9.3 g, p = 0.042 vs. placebo). Plasma fibrinogen levels were reduced by perindopril (−53.4 mg/dl, p = 0.022 vs. placebo) but not by losartan (−16.8 mg/dl, NS). The perindopril-induced decrease in fibrinogen was correlated with the increase in GIR (r = 0.39; p < 0.01). These findings suggest that fibrinogen decrease produced by the ACE inhibitor is related to its action on insulin sensitivity, which seems to be dependent not on angiotensin II blockade but rather on other mechanisms.

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