Effect of Ramipril in Reducing Sudden Deaths and Nonfatal Cardiac Arrests in High-Risk Individuals Without Heart Failure or Left Ventricular Dysfunction
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BACKGROUND: ACE inhibitor therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for heart failure, and need for revascularization in high-risk patients with clinical heart failure, overt left ventricular systolic dysfunction, or vascular disease. In patients with clinical heart failure or overt left ventricular systolic dysfunction, ACE inhibitor therapy also reduces the risk of sudden or arrhythmia-related cardiac death. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of the ACE inhibitor ramipril on sudden unexpected death or resuscitated cardiac arrest among the 9297 individuals without clinical heart failure or overt left ventricular dysfunction enrolled in the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial. METHODS AND RESULTS: During the median follow-up of 4.5 years, the composite outcome of unexpected death, documented arrhythmic death, or resuscitated cardiac arrest was reduced by 21% in patients randomized to ramipril therapy compared with those randomized to placebo. There were 155 (3.3%) composite outcome events in patients randomized to ramipril therapy compared with 195 (4.2%) such events in patients randomized to placebo (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.98, P=0.028). There were trends toward reductions in fatal primary outcome events (unexpected death or documented arrhythmic death; RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.02, P=0.072) and in nonfatal primary outcome events (resuscitated cardiac arrest; RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.13, P=0.127) in the ramipril treatment group. CONCLUSIONS: Ramipril reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal serious arrhythmic events in high-risk patients without clinical heart failure or overt left ventricular systolic dysfunction.
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