BP drug not tied to death risk among heart patients

Copenhagen: Losartan, prescribed for lowering high blood pressure (BP), may not be linked with higher death risk in heart failure patients, says a new study.

Henrik Svanstrom of Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a study to assess whether losartan is tied with increased mortality in heart failure patients as compared with candesartan, the journal JAMA reports.

Candesartan like losartan is a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers. By blocking the effects of angiotensin II, candesartan causes blood vessels to relax, which can lower BP.

Patients aged 45 years and older with first-time hospitalisation for heart failure in 1998-2008 were identified. The final study group included 6,479 patients; 2,082 users of candesartan and 4,397 users of losartan, according to a Statens statement.

Researchers found no significantly increased risk of death linked with losartan use as compared to candesartan. Also, use of losartan was not significantly tied with an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality compared with candesartan use.

"This large, nationwide cohort study of patients with heart failure found no significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality associated with use of losartan as compared with candesartan," the researchers conclude.