Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are a class of antihypertensive drugs with established efficacy and favorable safety profile. Telmisartan, a member of the ARB family, holds some additional traits which differentiate it from the rest ARBs. A pivotal role in these characteristics plays its ability to partially activate the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ, which in turn controls a number of metabolism-related genes. Indeed, telmisartan has shown a number of pleiotropic effects in experimental and clinical studies. These include the amelioration of insulin resistance, improvement of lipid profile and favorable fat redistribution. Moreover, telmisartan has been associated with beneficial effects on vascular function, cardiac remodeling and renal function. However, do all these pleiotropic effects translate into clinical benefit? Recent studies have tried to answer this question with promising but not definitive results.
Keywords: Angiotensin receptor blockers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes development, heart failure, pleiotropic effects, renal disease, stroke, telmisartan
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