American journal of cardiovascular drugs : drugs, devices, and other interventions

Spotlight on ramipril in the prevention of cardiovascular outcomes.

PMID 14727938


Ramipril (Altace)Use of tradenames is for product identification purposes only and does not imply endorsement.), an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, is a prodrug which is rapidly hydrolyzed after absorption to the active metabolite ramiprilat. Earlier trials have shown that ACE inhibitors, when given to patients with low ejection fractions, have reduced the relative risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and other ischemic events by 14-23%. Subsequently, the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) study has shown that, in patients who are not known to have low ejection fraction or heart failure but are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular events, ramipril reduced the incidence of stroke, MI and death due to cardiovascular disease. Results from the HOPE study, in which 9297 patients were randomized to receive either ramipril 10 mg/day or placebo for a mean of 4.5 years, indicate that ramipril reduced the relative risk of the composite outcome of MI, stroke and cardiovascular death by 22%. The incidence of the composite outcome was significantly lower in the ramipril group than in the placebo group (14.0% vs 17.8%). Patients who received ramipril, compared with placebo recipients, had a significantly decreased incidence of stroke, MI or death due to cardiovascular disease (3.4% vs 4.9%, 9.9% vs 12.3% and 6.1% vs 8.1%, respectively). The relative risk of death from any cause was reduced among patients who received ramipril. In addition, treatment with ramipril reduced as the incidence of revascularization procedures, and, among patients with diabetes mellitus, ramipril reduced the incidence of complications related to diabetes mellitus, including the development of overt nephropathy. Moreover, in patients without a previous diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, ramipril, compared with placebo, significantly reduced the development of diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, compared with patients receiving placebo, patients receiving ramipril had a reduced rate of progression of carotid artery wall thickness. Ramipril 10 mg/day can significantly reduce the incidence of MI, stroke or death from cardiovascular causes in patients aged > or =55 years who are at increased risk for the development of ischemic cardiovascular events due to a history of stroke, coronary artery disease (with controlled blood pressure), diabetes mellitus plus at least one other risk factor or peripheral vascular disease but no heart failure or low ejection fraction. Therefore, in addition to dietary and lifestyle modifications, ramipril should be an integral part of secondary prevention therapy in patients at increased risk for the development of cardiovascular events.