Drugs that are taken to combat high blood pressure may help fight serious heart disorder, suggests Scottish research.
Aortic stenosis - when the main valve between the heart and the rest of the body becomes narrowed - is one of the most common forms of valve heart disease in the developed world, affecting around 5 per cent of the population and growing.
Now research by the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside has found that by taking blood pressure drugs, patients with the disease could be less likely to suffer heart problems or die.
Chim Lang, professor of cardiology at the University of Dundee, and his team studied the records of patients in Tayside with aortic stenosis who have undergone heart scans over the past 20 years.
The results showed a lower risk of death or suffering a complication such as a heart attack or stroke among those taking blood pressure drugs compared with those who were not.
"Aortic stenosis is a growing problem. Physicians have previously not known whether to continue these ACE Inhibitor medications or not," said Lang.
"On the one hand, a fall in blood pressure may not be helpful, but, on the other hand, these drugs offer many protective benefits.
"We observed that patients with aortic stenosis who were taking these medications had a better outcome. This observation, however, needs to be confirmed by prospective clinical trials," added Lang.
The study has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.