Efficacy and safety of angiotensin receptor blockers in older patients: A meta-analysis of randomized trials

Islam Y. Elgendy, Tianyao Huo, Veronica Chik, Carl J. Pepine, Anthony A. Bavry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background The efficacy and safety of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in the older population is unclear. Objectives To determine the efficacy and safety of ARBs in older patients. Methods Randomized trials that compared ARBs to control and reported clinical outcomes in patients with a mean age of 65 years or older were included. Random-effects summary risk ratios (RRs) were constructed. Results A total of 16 trials met our selection criteria, which yielded 113,386 patients. ARBs were associated with a marginal increased risk of allcause mortality (RR: 1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00-1.06, P = 0.05), a nonsignificant increased risk of myocardial infarction (RR: 1.04, 95% CI: 0.96-1.12, P = 0.36), a marginal reduction in heart failure hospitalization (RR: 0.86, 95% CI: 0.74-1.00, P = 0.06), and a significant reduction in the risk of stroke (RR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.87-0.99, P = 0.03). ARBs were associated with an increased risk of acute kidney injury (RR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.24-1.77, P < 0.001), hypotension (RR: 1.56, 95% CI: 1.24-1.97, P < 0.001), and hyperkalemia (RR: 1.57, 95% CI: 1.13-2.19, P = 0.008). On the sensitivity analysis including placebo-controlled trials, the risk of all-cause mortality was no longer significant (P = 0.2), while the remainder of the outcomes did not change. Conclusion In older patients, the benefit of ARBs compared with control was strongest for stroke reduction, with no (or weak) associations for allcause mortality, myocardial infarction, and heart failure hospitalization. Benefit was offset by an increased risk of acute kidney injury, hypotension, and hyperkalemia. Thus, ARBs should be used with caution in older patients when clinically indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-585
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiotensin receptor blockers
  • Blood pressure
  • Elderly
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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