High blood pressure (BP) is the most important modifiable risk factor for stroke and other vascular diseases. Evidence from randomized controlled trials supports the use of antihypertensive drugs to lower blood pressure for stroke prevention. There is some evidence that specific classes of antihypertensive drugs have different effects and/or their pharmacological actions differ in patient subgroups. This review evaluates the development of antihypertensive therapies and the latest studies of arterial hypertension and stroke prevention: HOPE trial (ramipril versus placebo), ALLHAT trial (CCB or/and Angiotensin-Conventing enzyme Inhibitors (ACE-Is) versus diuretic), LIFE trial (losartan versus atenolol), and PROGRESS trial (perindopril or/and indapamide versus placebo). Despite the results of these relevant clinical trails, some aspects still remain unresolved. Future clinical trials on hypertension and stroke prevention should answer the following questions: Does lowering BP reduce stroke risk due to specific drug effect or class effect? Are angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) better than ACE-Is? Should ACE-Is and ARBs be considered routinely for either high-risk stroke patients or patients with history of stroke or transient ischemic attack, irrespective of blood pressure? What is the role of lifestyle in BP control?
- Arterial hypertension
- Clinical trials