Background: The effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in slowing the decline in renal function in nondiabetic renal disease varies among studies.
Purpose: To use meta-analysis to assess the effect of ACE inhibitors on the development of end-stage renal disease caused by factors other than diabetes.
Data sources: The English-language medical literature, identified by a MEDLINE search and unpublished studies.
Study selection: All randomized studies that compared ACE inhibitors with other antihypertensive agents and had at least 1 year of planned follow-up were selected. Studies of diabetic renal disease and renal transplants were excluded. A total of 1594 patients in 10 studies was included.
Data extraction: Data on end-stage renal disease, death, drop out, and blood pressure were extracted. Study investigators confirmed results and provided additional data.
Data synthesis: Among 806 patients receiving ACE inhibitors, 52 (6.4%) developed end-stage renal disease and 17 (2.1%) died; in the 788 controls, the respective values were 72 (9.1%) and 12 (1.5%). The pooled relative risks were 0.70 (95% CI, 0.51 to 0.97) for end-stage renal disease and 1.24 (CI, 0.55 to 2.83) for death; the studies were not significantly heterogeneous. The decreases in weighted mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures during follow-up were 4.9 and 1.2 mm Hg greater, respectively, in the patients who received ACE inhibitors.
Conclusions: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are more effective than other antihypertensive agents in reducing the development of end-stage nondiabetic renal disease, and they do not increase mortality. It could not be determined whether this beneficial effect is due to the greater decline in blood pressure or to other effects of ACE inhibition.