Aliskiren alone or with other antihypertensives in the elderly with borderline and stage 1 hypertension: the APOLLO trial
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AIMS: We studied the unclear question whether blood pressure (BP) lowering reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) in elderly individuals with systolic BP <160 mm Hg. METHODS AND RESULTS: We initiated a randomized placebo-controlled stratified 2 × 2 factorial clinical trial evaluating the effects of BP lowering in 11 000 elderly individuals with systolic blood pressure (SBP) between 130 and 159 mm Hg, for 5 years. Following 5-week active run-in, participants were randomized to aliskiren (300 mg) or placebo, and to an additional antihypertensive [hydrochlorothiazide (25 mg) or amlodipine (5 mg)], or their respective placeboes. Study was terminated by sponsor after 1759 subjects (age 72.1 ± 5.2 years, 88% receiving at least one antihypertensive) were randomized and followed for 0.6 year. Study drugs were well tolerated with few serious adverse events during run-in and after randomization, with no significant differences between treatment groups. By design, three levels of BP reductions were achieved, adjusted mean BP reductions of 3.5/1.7 mm Hg (P < 0.001) by aliskiren, 6.8/3.3 mm Hg (P < 0.001) by hydrochlorothiazide or amlodipine, and 10.3/5.0 mm Hg (P < 0.001) by double therapy compared with placebo. Twenty-five major CVD events occurred. Non-significant trends towards fewer CVD events with greater BP reductions are evident: hazard ratios (HR) 0.82 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.37-1.81] for 3.5 mm Hg SBP reduction; HR 0.45 (95% CI: 0.19-1.04) for 6.8 mm Hg; and HR 0.25 (0.05-1.18) for 10.3 mm Hg reduction for primary composite of CV death, MI, stroke, or significant heart failure. CONCLUSIONS: Sizeable reductions in BP, with potential for substantial CVD reduction, can be safely achieved using combinations of BP drugs in the elderly with normal high and Stage 1 hypertension. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01259297.
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