Effect of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors on Physical Function in Elderly Subjects: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Sarcopenia has been accepted as a new geriatric syndrome, which will become a common and important public health challenge. And angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) have been shown to improve exercise capacity in elderly without heart failure.


To evaluate the effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) on physical function in elderly.

Data Sources

The Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched.

Eligibility Criteria

All researches included were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) which compared any kind of ACEIs with placebo or other anti-hypertensives in elderly, and provided empirical data of grip strength and 6-min walk distance change from baseline.

Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods

Risk of bias was systematically assessed by using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Data of grip strength and 6-min walk distance change from baseline were collected and mean differences (MDs) were calculated along with 95 % CI (confidence interval) by using a random effects model.


In 3 RCTs including 337 elderly participants, ACEIs (n = 178) did not significantly improved 6-min walk distance (13.45, 95 % CI: -16.71 to 43.61; P = 0.38) versus placebo or other antihypertensives (n = 159). In 3 RCTs including 499 elderly participants, grip strength was not significantly different (-0.67, 95 % CI: -1.53 to 0.19; P = 0.12) between ACEIs (n = 260) and placebo or other antihypertensives (n = 239).


There exists only 4 RCTs and the number of participants is limited. Pooling of data were from different trials including different participant characteristics. And intervention is not strictly consistent.


This study shows that ACEIs can not significantly improve walk distance or the age-related decline of muscle strength for older participants in clinical trials.

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