Background: Treatment with angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors reduces the rate of cardiovascular events among patients with left-ventricular dysfunction and those at high risk of such events. We assessed whether the ACE inhibitor perindopril reduced cardiovascular risk in a low-risk population with stable coronary heart disease and no apparent heart failure.
Methods: We recruited patients from October, 1997, to June, 2000. 13655 patients were registered with previous myocardial infarction (64%), angiographic evidence of coronary artery disease (61%), coronary revascularisation (55%), or a positive stress test only (5%). After a run-in period of 4 weeks, in which all patients received perindopril, 12218 patients were randomly assigned perindopril 8 mg once daily (n=6110), or matching placebo (n=6108). The mean follow-up was 4.2 years, and the primary endpoint was cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or cardiac arrest. Analysis was by intention to treat.
Findings: Mean age of patients was 60 years (SD 9), 85% were male, 92% were taking platelet inhibitors, 62% beta blockers, and 58% lipid-lowering therapy. 603 (10%) placebo and 488 (8%) perindopril patients experienced the primary endpoint, which yields a 20% relative risk reduction (95% CI 9-29, p=0.0003) with perindopril. These benefits were consistent in all predefined subgroups and secondary endpoints. Perindopril was well tolerated.
Interpretation: Among patients with stable coronary heart disease without apparent heart failure, perindopril can significantly improve outcome. About 50 patients need to be treated for a period of 4 years to prevent one major cardiovascular event. Treatment with perindopril, on top of other preventive medications, should be considered in all patients with coronary heart disease.