Angiotensin receptor blockers are the newest class of antihypertensive agents marketed for the treatment of hypertension. There is now an important amount of evidence indicating that this class of drugs exerts beneficial effects in patients with a variety of cardiovascular disorders. Evidence-based medicine includes well controlled studies with mortality and morbidity endpoints in patients with left ventricular dysfunction after a myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, type-2 diabetic subjects with renal dysfunction and high-risk hypertensive patients. In addition to these hard endpoints, treatment with angiotensin receptor blockers prevents the development of type-2 diabetes, promotes a more pronounced regression of left ventricular hypertrophy, decreases microalbuminuria and proteinuria in renal patients, ameliorates coronary and peripheral vascular endothelial dysfunction and decreases plasma levels of several markers of vascular inflammation. In summary, angiotensin receptor blockers are antihypertensive drugs with a very good profile in terms of efficacy, tolerability and cardiovascular protection. They represent an important step in the search for the ideal antihypertensive agent.
Keywords: Angiotensin receptor blockers, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, nephropathy
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