Perindopril-based blood pressure-lowering reduces major vascular events in patients with atrial fibrillation and prior stroke or transient ischemic attack
Arima H., Hart RG., Colman S., Chalmers J., Anderson C., Rodgers A., Woodward M., MacMahon S., Neal B.
Background and Purpose - Patients with atrial fibrillation have a high risk of stroke and other vascular events even if anticoagulated. The primary objective here is to determine whether routine blood pressure-lowering provides additional protection for this high-risk patient group. Methods - This study was a subsidiary analysis of the Perindopril Protection Against Recurrent Stroke Study (PROGRESS)-a randomized, placebo-controlled trial that established the beneficial effects of blood pressure-lowering in a heterogeneous group of patients with cerebrovascular disease. A total of 6105 patients were randomly assigned to either active treatment (2 to 4 mg perindopril for all participants plus 2.0 to 2.5 mg indapamide for those without an indication for or a contraindication to a diuretic) or matching placebo(s). Outcomes are total major vascular events, cause-specific vascular outcomes, and death from any cause. Results - There were 476 patients with atrial fibrillation at baseline, of whom 51% were taking anticoagulants. In these patients, active treatment lowered mean blood pressure by 7.3/3.4 mm Hg and was associated with a 38% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6 to 59) reduction in major vascular events and 34% (95% CI, -13 to 61) reduction in stroke. The benefits of blood pressure-lowering in patients with atrial fibrillation were achieved irrespective of the use of anticoagulant therapy (P homogeneity=0.8) or the presence of hypertension (P homogeneity=0.4). Conclusions - For most patients with atrial fibrillation, routine blood pressure-lowering is likely to provide protection against major vascular events additional to that conferred by anticoagulation. © 2005 American Heart Association, Inc.