Recently, we reported that angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), valsartan, and calcium channel blocker (CCB), amlodipine, had similar effects on the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in diabetic hypertensive patients. We assessed the difference of cardiovascular protective effects between ARB and CCB in patients with and without previous CVD, respectively. A total of 1,150 Japanese diabetic hypertensive patients were randomized to either valsartan or amlodipine treatment arms, which were additionally divided into 2 groups according to the presence of previous CVD at baseline (without CVD, n = 818; with CVD, n = 332). The primary composite outcomes were sudden cardiac death, acute myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for heart failure. The incidence of primary end point events in patients with previous CVD was 3.5-times greater than that in patients without previous CVD (64.1 vs 17.9/1,000 person-years). The ARB- and the CCB-based treatment arms showed similar incidence of composite CVD events in both patients without previous CVD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.76 to 2.40) and those with previous CVD (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.31). The ARB-treatment arm showed less incidence of stroke compared with the CCB-based treatment arm in patients with previous CVD (HR 0.24, 95% CI 0.05 to 1.11, p = 0.068), whereas the 2 treatment arms showed similar incidence of stroke in patients without previous CVD (HR 1.52, 95% CI 0.59 to 3.91). In conclusion, the ARB- and the CCB-based treatments exerted similar protective effects of CVD events regardless of the presence of previous CVD. For stroke events, the ARB may have more protective effects than the CCB in diabetic hypertensive patients with previous CVD.
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