The recent Losartan intervention For Endpoint Reduction in Hypertension (LIFE) study was conducted in patients with essential hypertension with electrocardiogram evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy. This showed that losartan compared to atenolol resulted in a significant reduction in the primary endpoint of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, as well as a greater reduction in electrocardiographically-defined left ventricular hypertrophy. Importantly, this was despite a mean blood pressure reduction which was similar in both groups. Furthermore, the atenolol arm was associated with higher incidence of newly diagnosed diabetics. The LIFE study has firmly confirmed a place for losartan (and other angiotensin receptor blockers) in the management of hypertension. Losartan has also been shown to be effective in diabetics and in patients with atrial fibrillation, as well as in left ventricular hypertrophy regression. This trial also raises the possibility that beta-blockers should perhaps not be used as first-line monotherapy.
- angiotensin receptor blockers
- cardiovascular mortality