Aggressive blood pressure control and stroke prevention: role of calcium channel blockers.

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Aggressive blood pressure control and stroke prevention: role of calcium channel blockers.

J Hypertens. 2008 May;26(5):844-52

Authors: Papadopoulos DP, Papademetriou V

Cerebrovascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and its prevalence is expected to increase as a result of projected demographic trends. Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability and death of over 30 million people each year worldwide. Hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor for stroke. Recent data indicate that treatment with antihypertensive drugs reduces the incidence of all strokes in men (by 34%), women (by 38%), the elderly (by 36%), including those older than 80 years (by 34%), younger persons, those with systolic and diastolic hypertension, persons with isolated systolic hypertension, and those with a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (by 28%). Furthermore, several large, prospective, randomized, clinical outcome trials have shown that calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are effective and safe antihypertensive drugs compared with placebo and reduce the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality of treated patients. Moreover, when CCBs were compared with conventional antihypertensive drugs they demonstrated similar blood pressure-lowering effects and similar reductions in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, with the exception of a higher incidence of heart failure and fatal myocardial infarction in some studies. Considering all the evidence available today, however, these drugs should be considered safe for the treatment of the uncomplicated hypertensive patient in combination with other drugs. They can also be used as first-line therapy for older, stroke-prone hypertensive patients. The aim of this review is to summarize the role of CCBs in the prevention of stroke.

PMID: 18398322 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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