Female diabetics taking ARBs found to be at greater risk

Fri, 20 Apr 2012
Researchers in the United States have monitored the effects of two drug treatments on patients with hypertension, finding that angotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) produce a higher risk of diabetes but are not more effective than angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors on treating the condition.

The study involved checking the clinic electronic records of more than 23,000 adults with hypertension who received either an ACE inhibitor or an ARB, and was reported in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension. It assessed statistical differences in rates for a range of conditions, including coronary disease, chronic kidney disease and stroke, showing there was no major difference between those patient being prescribed ACE inhibitors or those prescribed with ARBs.

However, those prescribed with ARBs did exhibit a substantially higher likelihood of developing new-onset diabetes as compared to patients prescribed an ACE inhibitor. When gender was taken into account, women who took ARBs had a 93 per cent greater risk compared to the people on ACE inhibitors.

Jason Roy from the University of Pennsylvania, who led the study, pointed out "Results from this study can help guide clinician decision-making, as we compared ACE inhibitors and ARBs on several key outcomes, with long follow-up times, for patient subgroups defined by sex and age."

He added "Our finding of a greater risk of new-onset diabetes among ARB users relative to ACE inhibitor users, especially among women, warrants further investigation."
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