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Diabet Med. 2004 Jan; 21(1): 18-25.

Angiotensin receptor blockers as anti-hypertensive treatment for patients with diabetes mellitus: meta-analysis of controlled double-blind randomized trials.

Siebenhofer A, Plank J, Horvath K, Berghold A, Sutton AJ, Sommer R, Pieber TR.
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Diabetes and Metabolism, Karl-Franzens University Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Knittelfeld Hospital and Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria, and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.


To assess the evidence for possible reduction of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and end-stage renal disease in diabetic patients treated with angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (ARBs) as an anti-hypertensive treatment.


Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind controlled trials of at least 1 year's duration. ARBs were used in the intervention group vs. placebo or standard anti-hypertensive treatment in the control group. The main outcome measures were all-cause mortality, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and end-stage renal disease.


Three studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Separate analyses were conducted for comparisons of ARBs with groups given placebo and those given standard anti-hypertensive treatment. There was no significant difference in mortality between the ARBs and placebo groups, with an estimated odds ratio (OR) of 0.99 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81, 1.20]. There was a non-significant difference in patients treated with ARBs compared with standard anti-hypertensive treatment, with an OR of 0.78 (95% CI 0.45, 1.36). No statistically significant difference in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality between the intervention and placebo groups was found, with an OR of 0.91 (95% CI 0.77, 1.08). When ARBs were compared with standard treatment, the OR was estimated at 0.85 (0.54, 1.33). Data on end-stage renal disease were available for two studies comparing ARBs vs. placebo and showed a statistically significant advantage of ARBs, with an OR of 0.73 (95% CI 0.6, 0.89). As only one study compared end-stage renal disease outcome for ARBs vs. standard treatment, a meta-analysis was not possible. This study reported a considerable benefit of ARBs [OR = 0.73 (0.54, 1.01)] compared with the calcium channel blocker amlodipine. CONCLUSIONS: ARBs failed to show significant reduction in total mortality and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. The only statistical benefit was the reduction of end-stage renal disease compared with placebo. Therefore, at this time ARBs have not proved to be superior to standard anti-hypertensive treatment in diabetic patients.