Angiotensin Receptor Blocker Added to Previous Antihypertensive Agents on Arteries of Diabetic Hypertensive Patients

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Lowering elevated blood pressure (BP) in diabetic hypertensive individuals decreases cardiovascular events. We questioned whether remodeling of resistance arteries from hypertensive diabetic patients would improve after 1 year of tight BP control with addition of either the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) valsartan or the β-blocker (BB) atenolol to previous therapy, which included angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and/or calcium channel blockers. Twenty-eight hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients treated with oral hypoglycemic and antihypertensive agents (not receiving ARBs or BBs) were randomly assigned to double-blind treatment for 1 year with valsartan (80 to 160 mg) or atenolol (50 to 100 mg) daily, added to previous therapy. Resistance arteries dissected from gluteal subcutaneous tissues were assessed on a pressurized myograph. After 1 year of treatment, systolic and diastolic BP and glycemia were equally well controlled in the valsartan and atenolol groups. Endothelium-dependent and independent relaxation did not change in the treated groups. After 1 year of treatment, resistance artery media:lumen ratio decreased in the valsartan group (7.9±0.5% after versus 9.8±0.6% before; P<0.05) but not in the atenolol-treated group (9.9±0.9% versus 10.6±1%; P value not significant). Artery walls from atenolol-treated patients became stiffer, with no change in the valsartan-treated patients. In conclusion, similar intensive BP control for 1 year with valsartan was associated with improved structure of resistance arteries in diabetic hypertensive patients, whereas vessels from atenolol-treated patients exhibited unchanged remodeling and a stiffer wall. The addition of ARBs but not BBs to antihypertensive medications that may include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and/or calcium channel blockers results in an improvement in resistance artery remodeling in diabetic hypertensive patients.

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