Taking blood pressure

The use of RAAS inhibitors may reduce the odds of brain aneurysm rupture by an estimated 18% in people with high blood pressure, according to a new study across 20 medical centers.

An aneurysm is a bulging artery in the brain. When ruptured, blood can cut off oxygen to the affected area, leading to hemorrhagic stroke, coma and death. 

Investigators analyzed data from 2016 to 2021 to evaluate the association of blood pressure medications, including RAAS inhibitors, on the risk of aneurysm rupture.

Among 3,000 patients, 32% who took RAAS inhibitors experienced an intracranial aneurysm rupture when compared to 67% of those who used non-RAAS inhibitors. The researchers said they were surprised to discover that this finding held true even among patients whose hypertension was well controlled.

“Our study highlights that using the proper antihypertensive medications to achieve normalization of blood pressure may remarkably decrease the risk of a ruptured aneurysm,” said Qinghai Huang, M.D., Ph.D., of Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University in Shanghai, China.

Based on these data, Huang and colleagues estimated that nearly 18% of ruptured aneurysms could be prevented if all patients with hypertension and intracranial aneurysms were prescribed with RAAS inhibitors. 

“Given that one-third of patients with ruptured aneurysms die and another third remain dependent for daily life activities, there is a need to identify modifiable risk factors to prevent aneurysm rupture,” Huang concluded.

The study was published in the journal Hypertension.

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