J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2012; 14:407–414. ©2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Important questions concerning the comparative effectiveness of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) remain unanswered, including whether they are equally effective in reducing clinical end points and in which populations. An incident cohort of adult patients 18 years and older prescribed an ACE inhibitor or ARB between 2001 and 2008 was identified from Geisinger Clinic, a large community-based set of medical practices that uses a common electronic health record. Propensity score matching was used to balance the groups on baseline factors. The authors examined differences in mortality and new-onset coronary disease, chronic kidney disease, stroke, and diabetes for different patient subgroups based on sex and age. A total of 25,035 hypertensive patients newly prescribed an ACE inhibitor or ARB were identified. No differences were found in risk of death, coronary disease, chronic kidney disease, or stroke between those prescribed ACE inhibitors and those prescribed ARBs. Patients prescribed ARBs had a greater rate of new-onset diabetes (hazard ratio [HR], 1.28; confidence interval [CI], 1.08–1.52), and this was especially true for women (HR, 1.93; CI, 1.22–3.07). Within a large medical-practice based population, there was no evidence of differential effectiveness between ACE inhibitors and ARBs for most outcomes, with diabetes being the notable exception.