DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE

Heart Disease, Stroke & Diabetes Prevented by Ramipril (Altace)

Just as many people now take an aspirin a day to keep heart attacks away, millions may soon also be taking another drug daily to ward off heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It is a drug that has been used since 1991 to treat patients with heart disease or high blood pressure. The drug is called ramipril. It is sold by King Pharmaceutical, in the U.S.A, and marketed by Hoechst Marion Roussel outside the U.S.A.

Ramipril appears able to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and death by more than 20% in a wide range of patients not traditionally considered to be candidates for the therapy. Ramipril also seems to be the first drug known to prevent the onset of diabetes.

This is the gist of a report released by The New England Journal of Medicine on November 10, 1999, over two months before the scheduled publication of the article on January 20, 2000. The journal took this unusual action because of the potential importance of the new information in treating patients.

The report came from The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) Study Investigators. Dr. Salim Yusuf of McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada wrote the manuscript along with Peter Sleight, Janice Pogue, Jackie Bosch, Richard Davies, and Gilles Dagenais.

A Large Study with Over 9,000 Patients