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Paper of the day - Combined heart drugs risk

Combined ARB and ACE inhibitor treatment for heart failure markedly increases adverse effects compared with ACE inhibitor treatment alone, a meta-analysis has concluded.

US researchers looked at four studies involving 17,337 patients with an average of 25 months follow-up.

Patients with chronic heart failure taking an ARB/ACE inhibitor combination were 38% more likely to discontinue treatment due to adverse effects.

They also had double the risk of worsening renal function; almost five times the risk of hyperkalemia and a 50 per cent increased risk of symptomatic hypotension.

Arch Intern Med 2007; 167: 1930-1936

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