The Role of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers in the Treatment of Heart Failure Patients
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Evidence from large, randomized, controlled clinical trials supports the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta blockers, and spironolactone to reduce mortality and morbidity. Despite these effective therapies, event rates related to heart failure remain high. Although ACE inhibitors reduce angiotensin II production, they do not fully suppress the increased angiotensin II production in heart failure. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) directly block the effect of angiotensin II, derived from any source, at the receptor level and have the potential to be as effective or even more effective than ACE inhibitors. The results of a number of clinical studies have demonstrated ARBs are effective and well tolerated. However, no studies have demonstrated a convincing decrease in mortality with ARB use, although a decrease has been observed for heart failure hospitalization. The results from further studies are awaited to clarify the role of ARBs in the treatment of heart failure.
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