Effects of Ramipril and Vitamin E on Atherosclerosis
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BACKGROUND: Activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and oxidative modification of LDL cholesterol play important roles in atherosclerosis. The Study to Evaluate Carotid Ultrasound changes in patients treated with Ramipril and vitamin E (SECURE), a substudy of the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial, was a prospective, double-blind, 3x2 factorial design trial that evaluated the effects of long-term treatment with the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor ramipril and vitamin E on atherosclerosis progression in high-risk patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 732 patients >/=55 years of age who had vascular disease or diabetes and at least one other risk factor and who did not have heart failure or a low left ventricular ejection fraction were randomly assigned to receive ramipril 2.5 mg/d or 10 mg/d and vitamin E (RRR-alpha-tocopheryl acetate) 400 IU/d or their matching placebos. Average follow-up was 4.5 years. Atherosclerosis progression was evaluated by B-mode carotid ultrasound. The progression slope of the mean maximum carotid intimal medial thickness was 0.0217 mm/year in the placebo group, 0.0180 mm/year in the ramipril 2.5 mg/d group, and 0.0137 mm/year in the ramipril 10 mg/d group (P=0.033). There were no differences in atherosclerosis progression rates between patients on vitamin E and those on placebo. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term treatment with ramipril had a beneficial effect on atherosclerosis progression. Vitamin E had a neutral effect on atherosclerosis progression.
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