Comparative Effects of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers on Response to a Physical Activity Intervention in Older Adults: Results From the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Study

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Apr 17;75(5):1010-1016. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz120.


Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) may protect against aging-related decline. This study directly compared ACEis and ARBs on associations with risk of mobility disability in older adults when combined with a physical activity intervention.

Methods: This was a secondary analysis of the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) trial. Participants aged 70-89 years were randomized to a physical activity or health education intervention. Outcomes included incident and persistent major mobility disability, injurious falls, short physical performance battery, and gait speed. For this analysis, only participants who reported ACEi or ARB use at baseline were included. Baseline differences between ACEi and ARB groups were adjusted for using inverse probability of treatment weights. Weighted Cox proportional hazard models and analysis of covariance models were used to evaluate the independent effects of medications and interaction effects with the intervention on each outcome.

Results: Of 1,635 participants in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders study, 796 used either an ACEi (496, 62.3%) or ARB (300, 37.7%). Compared with ACEi users, ARB users had 28% lower risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.72 [0.60-0.85]) of incident major mobility disability and 35% (HR = 0.65 [0.52-0.82]) lower risk of persistent major mobility disability whereas no interaction between medication use and intervention was observed. Risk of injurious falls and changes in short physical performance battery or gait speed were not different between ARB and ACEi users.

Conclusions: These results suggest that ARBs may protect from major mobility disability by other mechanisms than improving physical performance.

Keywords: Angiotensin receptor blockers; Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; Falls; Mobility; Renin–angiotensin system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Independent Living*
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Physical Functional Performance


  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors