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ARBs & ACE Inhibitors Offer Hidden Benefits...Beyond Blood Pressure Control

The goal of treating high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) traditionally has been to reduce the blood pressure to a certain level (e.g., to less than 140/90). More recently, however, it has become apparent that how you lower the blood pressure (that is, what drugs you use) is also important. It seems that the ARB and ACE inhibitor drugs produce added protective effects on the heart, kidneys, and brain. In other words, the protective effects of these classes of drugs on these organs in patients with HBP far exceed the protective effects produced by lowering the blood pressure alone.

Just what added protection do the ARB and ACE inhibitors provide? In the heart, these drugs reduce heart attacks (myocardial infarction), and in the brain, they reduce strokes. In the kidneys, ARB and ACE inhibitors have been shown to reduce proteinuria (loss of protein in the urine), preserve renal (kidney) function, and slow the progression of renal failure, especially in diabetics.