Population impact of Losartan use on stroke in the European Union (EU): Projections from the Losartan Intervention For Endpoint reduction in hypertension (LIFE) study
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
The Losartan Intervention for Endpoint reduction in hypertension (LIFE) study was designed to compare losartan- vs atenolol-based antihypertensive treatment on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in a population of 9193 hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). In LIFE, the losartan-based treatment further reduced the primary composite end point (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) by 13% (risk reduction (RR) 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77-0.98, P=0.021). The further reduction in stroke with losartan (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.63-0.89, P=0.001) was the major contributing factor to the reduction in the primary end point. Our objective was to project the reduction in stroke observed with a losartan- vs an atenolol-based antihypertensive treatment regimen in the LIFE study to the European Union (EU) population. The number of stroke events averted was estimated by identifying the number of persons in the EU expected to meet the LIFE inclusion criteria, and multiplying this figure by the cumulative incidence risk difference in stroke from LIFE at 5.5 years. The age- and gender-specific prevalence of hypertension, electrocardiographically (ECG)-diagnosed LVH among those with hypertension (inclusion criteria), and heart failure among those with LVH and hypertension (exclusion criteria) were applied to the EU census estimates. We conservatively projected that an estimated 7.8 million individuals aged 55-80 years in the EU are affected by hypertension and ECG-diagnosed LVH. Use of a losartan-based antihypertensive treatment in this population is projected to prevent approximately 125 000 first strokes over a 5.5-year period. A population-wide prevention strategy of using losartan in patients with LVH and hypertension has the potential to have a major public health impact by reducing the morbidity and mortality of stroke in the EU.