Therapeutic benefits of ACE inhibitors and other antihypertensive drugs in patients with type 2 diabetes.
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether ACE inhibitors are superior to alternative agents for the prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with hypertension and type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This study is a review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that included patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension who were randomized to an ACE inhibitor or an alternative drug, were followed for > or =2 years, and had adjudicated cardiovascular events. RESULTS: A total of 4 trials were eligible. The Appropriate Blood Pressure Control in Diabetes (ABCD) trial (n = 470) compared enalapril with nisoldipine, the Captopril Prevention Project (CAPPP) (n = 572) compared captopril with diuretics or beta-blockers, the Fosinopril Versus Amlodipine Cardiovascular Events Trial (FACET) (n = 380) compared fosinopril with amlodipine, and the U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) (n = 758) compared captopril with atenolol. The cumulative results of the first 3 trials showed a significant benefit of ACE inhibitors compared with alternative treatments on the outcomes of acute myocardial infarction (63% reduction, P < 0.001), cardiovascular events (51% reduction, P < 0.001), and all-cause mortality (62% reduction, P = 0.010). These findings were not observed in the UKPDS. The ACE inhibitors did not appear to be superior to other agents for the outcome of stroke in any of the trials. None of the findings were explained by differences in blood pressure control. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the alternative agents tested, ACE inhibitors may provide a special advantage in addition to blood pressure control. The question of whether atenolol is equivalent to captopril remains open. Conclusive evidence on the comparative effects of antihypertensive treatments will come from large prospective randomized trials.