Washington: Patients suffering from clogged and hardened arteries, who already have their blood pressure under control could benefit from blood pressure-lowering medication aliskiren, a new study has claimed.
According to research from the Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research, the renin-inhibitor aliskiren tended to slow coronary disease progression and reduced the risk of death, stroke and heart attack in these patients by about 50 percent, compared to placebo, suggesting that patients with prehypertension may benefit from blood pressure lowering drugs.
Aliskiren affects the body`s renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), a hormone system that regulates blood pressure and has been shown in prior studies to play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, or the hardening or clogging of the arteries.
As a renin inhibitor, aliskiren partially blocks renin from triggering the RAAS process and is approved to treat hypertension to optimal guidelines of 140/90 mmHg, or the high end of the prehypertensive range.
A team of researchers led by Stephen J. Nicholls, M.D., Ph.D., senior consultant to Cleveland Clinic`s C5Research and Professor of Cardiology and Deputy Director at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide, Australia, used intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) to assess the degree of coronary disease progression in 458 patients at baseline and after 104 weeks of treatment with aliskiren or placebo.
IVUS is a medical imaging technology in which a small ultrasound probe is inserted via a catheter into an artery, allowing physicians to examine the inside of arteries via sonogram.
The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.