Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center have shown that a hypertension medication called olmesartan medoxomil is effective in reversing the narrowing of the arteries that occurs in patients with high blood pressure.
Olmesartan medoxomil is a member of a class of antihypertensive medications that help lower blood pressure by blocking the angiotensin II receptor on the blood vessels that causes constriction and increases blood pressure.
This medication also blocks the release of a hormone that causes salt retention and increased blood volume.
"We believe the data add to the growing evidence for the role of angiotensin receptor blockers in preventing or reversing vascular damage at many stages during this disease process," said Carlos M. Ferrario, M.D., one of the study's lead investigators and director of the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at Wake Forest University.
The study evaluated the effects of an angiotensin receptor blocker (olmesartan medoxomil) vs. a beta-blocker (atenolol) on vascular function and structure in patients with stage 1 hypertension.
After one year of treatment, olmesartan medoxomil improved the artery abnormalities in high blood pressure patients and returned arterial architecture to normal levels. This was not seen with the atenolol.
The VIOS results were presented at the Hypertension 2008 symposium, a scientific conference co-hosted by the European and International Societies of Hypertension.
The study was published in the current Journal of the American Society of Hypertension.