Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers reduce left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). The effect of these drugs on LVH in high-risk patients without heart failure is unknown.
Methods and results: In the Ongoing Telmisartan Alone and in Combination With Ramipril Global End Point Trial (ONTARGET), patients at high vascular risk and tolerant of ACE inhibitors were randomly assigned to ramipril, telmisartan, or their combination (n=23 165). In the Telmisartan Randomized Assessment Study in ACE Intolerant Subjects With Cardiovascular Disease (TRANSCEND), patients intolerant of ACE inhibitors were randomized to telmisartan or placebo (n=5343). Prevalence of LVH at entry in TRANSCEND was 12.7%. It was reduced by telmisartan (10.5% and 9.9% after 2 and 5 years) compared with placebo (12.7% and 12.8% after 2 and 5 years) (overall odds ratio, 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68 to 0.91; P=0.0017). New-onset LVH occurred less frequently with telmisartan compared with placebo (overall odds ratio, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.79; P=0.0001). LVH regression was similar in the 2 groups. In ONTARGET, prevalence of LVH at entry was 12.4%. At follow-up, it occurred slightly less frequently with telmisartan (odds ratio, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.01; P=0.07) and the combination (odds ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.02; P=0.12) than with ramipril, but differences between the groups were not significant. New-onset LVH was associated with a higher risk of primary outcome during follow-up (hazard ratio, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.50 to 2.07).
Conclusions: In patients at high vascular risk, telmisartan is more effective than placebo in reducing LVH. New-onset LVH is reduced by 37%. The effect of combination of the 2 drugs on LVH is similar to that of ramipril alone.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00153101.