Background: The objectives of this study were to compare the effects of the angiotensin II receptor blocker, losartan, to those of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, enalapril, on albuminuria and renal function in relationship to clinic and ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in hypertensive type 2 diabetic subjects with early nephropathy. The tolerability of these agents and their effect on the metabolic profile were also evaluated.
Methods: The study was a one-year prospective, double-blind trial with losartan and enalapril administered alone or in combination with hydrochlorothiazide and other antihypertensive agents. ABP and renal and biochemical parameters were measured at baseline and after 12, 28, and 52 weeks of active treatment. Ninety-two hypertensive type 2 diabetics with early nephropathy completed the study.
Results: Both losartan and enalapril administered alone or in combination with other agents induced significant reductions in sitting clinic (P < 0.05) and ABP (P < 0.002) without a statistical difference between groups. Geometric means for urinary albumin excretion (UAE) decreased significantly (P < 0.001) in patients treated with losartan from 64. 1 to 41.5 microg/min and in those treated with enalapril from 73.9 to 33.5 microg/min after 52 weeks of therapy. A significant relationship (P < 0.05) between changes in systolic and diastolic ABP and the decrease in UAE at 52 weeks was seen in both groups. The decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was stabilized at the end of therapy and was identical in both treatment groups. Treatment with enalapril was associated with a significantly higher incidence of cough (P = 0.006) and a rise in serum uric acid (P = 0.002) compared with losartan.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that a one-year course of antihypertensive therapy with either losartan or enalapril significantly reduces UAE in hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients with early nephropathy. The reduction in UAE with each treatment is similarly related to decrements in ABP. In addition, the rate of decline in GFR is similar in both treatment groups.