Are angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors the best treatment for hypertension in type 2 diabetes?

Radko Komers, Sharon Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The influence of hypertension on the clinical course and complications of type 2 diabetes is well established. With a special focus on angiotensin- converting enzyme inhibitors, this paper will review recently published results of prospective studies addressing two important aspects: the degree of blood pressure control, and the choice of antihypertensive regimen, in the prevention of complications in hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients. None of the recent studies have shown worse outcomes in patients treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-based regimens compared with alternative treatments. Some studies have suggested that angiotensin- converting enzyme inhibitor-based antihypertensive regimens may be superior to alternative treatments in reducing the risk of micro- and macrovascular complications, whereas other studies found similar effects for β-blockers or calcium antagonists. Several trials showed beneficial effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors over calcium antagonists, and have raised concerns about the use of dihydropyridine calcium antagonists in these patients. However, it remains to be determined whether there should be more reserved use of calcium antagonists in such patients, in the light of more major trials showing the safety and efficacy of calcium antagonists in preventing cardiovascular and renal endpoints. The degree of reduction of blood pressure rather than the choice of a particular drug may be the most important factor. Studies focusing on renal endpoints suggest that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors have a better antiproteinuric effect than other agents, but this phenomenon is not always reflected by a more beneficial effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors on the decline in glomerular filtration rate. In many ways, the question of whether angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are the best class of agent in these patients is academic. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are sufficiently safe, and, according to recent evidence, equally or more effective than other classes of agents. Tight blood pressure control is usually achievable only with a combination of agents. On the basis of available evidence, it appears that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, together with a low-dose cardioselective β-blocker and a diuretic, should be used in most hypertensive type 2 diabetes patients, with calcium antagonists serving as reserve drugs in case of insufficient blood pressure control. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-179
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in nephrology and hypertension
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


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