Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are known to reduce the cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients. This study was designed to examine the effect of an ARB candesartan on subclinical atherosclerosis assessed by cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) in comparison with calcium channel blockers (CCBs) alone in hypertensive patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 53 consecutive hypertensive patients with MetS were randomly assigned to the candesartan group, in which candesartan was added on, or the CCBs group, in which CCBs were added on. Clinical and biological parameters were obtained before and after the 12-month treatment period. The primary measure of efficacy was the %change in CAVI. When treated with candesartan, but not CCBs, CAVI significantly decreased from 8.7 to 7.7 by 11%. Blood pressure (BP) significantly decreased with both treatments, but the differences between groups were not significant. The changes in other parameters remained unchanged in both the groups. Analysis of covariance found that both the BP reduction and the therapy difference contributed to the decrease in CAVI, but the BP reduction was not involved in the decrease in CAVI caused by the difference in the therapy. Candesartan may be a better antihypertensive drug than CCBs to improve subclinical atherosclerosis of patients with MetS.
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