[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to evaluate effects of long-term treatment with rilmenidine compared with atenolol on lipid and glucose metabolism and cardiovascular remodelling in hypertension. In total, 37 patients with hypertension were randomised to rilmenidine 1-2 mg/day or atenolol 50-100 mg/day for 26 weeks. Standard oral glucose tolerance test with a parallel measurement of insulin and glucose levels was performed. The 'areas under the curve' (AUC) for insulin and glucose were calculated. Plasma lipids, left ventricular mass index (LVMI), and intima-media thickness (IMT) were measured. Brachial artery diameter during reactive hyperaemia was used to test endothelium-dependent vasodilatation (EDVD). Blood pressure reduction was equally achieved in both treatment arms. The fasting glucose level increased in the atenolol group from 4.8+/-0.6 to 5.2+/-0.7 mmol/l (P<0.01). The AUC of glucose in rilmenidine group decreased from 860+/-93 to 737+/-66 mmol/min/l (P<0.05), and in the atenolol group it increased from 937+/-86 to 989+/-88 mmol/min/l (P<0.05). Rilmenidine showed a positive effect on lipid levels, whereas in the atenolol group a significant decrease of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was observed. Left ventricular mass index decreased with rilmenidine by 9.6% and by 6.9% with atenolol (P<0.05). Intima-media thickness significantly decreased in the rilmenidine group. Endothelium-dependent vasodilatation slightly increased on in the rilmenidine group, while on in the atenolol group it remained unchanged. Our data suggest that in hypertensive patients central inhibition of sympathetic drive can produce favourable effects on glucose and lipid metabolism compared with standard beta-blockade with a similar antihypertensive efficacy. Rilmenidine also provides beneficial effects on cardiovascular remodelling and altered endothelial function in hypertension.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2006 · Journal of Human Hypertension