Heart, Lung and Circulation
Original Article| Volume 27, ISSUE 6, P666-682, June 2018

Comparative Efficacy of Angiotensin II Antagonists in Essential Hypertension: Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials


      Evidence on the long-term clinical benefits of individual members of angiotensin II receptor blockers is limited given the lack of head-to-head studies. We conducted a network meta-analysis to determine the comparative efficacy of different members within this drug class with respect to outcomes of (i) blood pressure reduction (at 24 and 52 weeks) and (ii) prevention of cardiovascular disease (>104 weeks).


      A systematic literature review was conducted – Protocol registration: (PROSPERO – CRD42014007067) – to identify relevant literature from the following databases: Cochrane Library, PubMed, Medline and EMBASE; searched from inception to July 2016. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they reported long-term effectiveness relating to blood pressure, mortality, myocardial infarction or stroke. Eligible studies included those with placebo or specific active-treatment comparators (either another angiotensin II receptor blockers or hydrochlorothiazide). A Bayesian random-effects network model was used to combine direct within-trial comparisons between treatment groups with indirect evidence from other trials.


      Thirty-six studies were identified, representing 28 unique trials. Blood pressure reduction, based on 12 studies (n = 807) with fixed dosing regimen, was found to be similar amongst members of the angiotensin receptor blocker drug class at both 24 and 52 weeks. A network meta-analysis of five studies (n = 16,716) with a treat-to-target approach found that prevention of all-cause mortality, stroke and myocardial infarction was similar across the angiotensin-receptor blockers therapies initiated.


      Current evidence is insufficient to show differences in any members within the angiotensin II receptor blocker drug class with respect to blood pressuring lowering effects or a reduction in cardiovascular diseases.


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