Objectives: We report on a subanalysis of the effects of losartan and atenolol on cardiovascular events in black patients in the Losartan Intervention For Endpoint reduction in hypertension (LIFE) study.
Background: The LIFE study compared losartan-based to atenolol-based therapy in 9,193 hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). Overall, the risk of the primary composite end point (cardiovascular death, stroke, myocardial infarction) was reduced by 13% (p = 0.021) with losartan, with similar blood pressure (BP) reduction in both treatment groups. There was a suggestion of interaction between ethnic background and treatment (p = 0.057).
Methods: Exploratory analyses were performed that placed LIFE study patients into black (n = 533) and non-black (n = 8,660) categories, overall, and in the U.S. (African American [n = 523]; non-black [n = 1,184]).
Results: A significant interaction existed between the dichotomized groups (black/non-black) and treatment (p = 0.005); a test for qualitative interaction was also significant (p = 0.016). The hazard ratio (losartan relative to atenolol) for the primary end point favored atenolol in black patients (1.666 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.043 to 2.661]; p = 0.033) and favored losartan in non-blacks (0.829 [95% CI 0.733 to 0.938]; p = 0.003). In black patients, BP reduction was similar in both groups, and regression of electrocardiographic-LVH was greater with losartan.
Conclusions: Results of the subanalysis are sufficient to generate the hypothesis that black patients with hypertension and LVH might not respond as favorably to losartan-based treatment as non-black patients with respect to cardiovascular outcomes, and do not support a recommendation for losartan as a first-line treatment for this purpose. The subanalysis is limited by the relatively small number of events.