Heart Rx Effective for Everyone

Blood pressure drugs treat heart failure effectively in both white and black patients

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) Traditional heart failure treatment has been found to protect both African-American and white patients equally in preventing future hospitalizations or death.

Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) are standard heart failure drugs.

However, previous research has suggested they may be less effective in black patients.

Most studies of the medications and their impact on heart failure patients have enrolled few black participants so their effectiveness was unproven.

"Always tell the pharmacist about other medications you may be taking."

David Lanfear, MD, lead author of the study and a researcher and cardiologist at the Henry Ford Health System, noted that previous data has been conflicting regarding consistent benefits of the drugs across races. He said new findings have shown the drugs offer black and white heart failure patients virtually the same benefits.

During the retrospective study researchers reviewed the files of 1,094 patients who received care through the Henry Ford Medical Group between 2000 and 2008. Of those patients, 618 were black.

They used pharmacy claims data to view the dosage and patients' adherence to taking the medications, allowing them to estimate their exposure to the drugs over time and connection to patient outcomes. The patients were followed for two years.

After adjustment for factors such as gender, age, and other diseases and medications, they analyzed the effects attributable to ACE/ARB drugs. The data was then analyzed and sorted by race.

They found that both white and black patients taking the medications received equal protection from re-hospitalization and death.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was recently presented at the American Heart Association’s annual Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Review Date: 
May 11, 2012
Last Updated:
July 12, 2012