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Study: Hypertension drug may slow progression of eye disease in Type 1 diabetes patients


MINNEAPOLIS Drugs used to treat hypertension might slow the progression of eye disease in patients with Type 1 diabetes, according to a new study.

Michael Mauer, a researcher at the University of Minnesota, split a group of patients into two groups, giving Merck’s Cozaar (losartan) to one group, enalapril to another and a placebo to the third. Mauer and his colleagues found that after five years, 65% to 70% patients who received Cozaar and enalapril experienced a slowing of the progression of diabetic eye injury. Enalapril is the chemical name of Biovail Labs’ Vasotec, which is available as a generic.

Diabetes is the biggest cause of acquired blindness in adults and causes nearly half of all new cases of chronic kidney failure in the United States each year, though the study did not find the antihypertensive drugs delayed early kidney tissue injury.

“The secondary results of this study showed that people taking these antihypertensive medications experienced a substantially positive effect in slowing diabetic eye injury,” Mauer stated.

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