Atacand(R) proven to prevent stroke in the elderly

FOR NON-US MEDIA ONLY: Embargoed 11.15 EST (17.15 CET), 10 November 2003

(Orlando, 10 November 2003) Data presented today at the American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting highlight the potential of Atacand (candesartan cilexetil) in reducing the incidence of stroke in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH).

Data from a pre-specified analysis in the group of patients with ISH, demonstrate a dramatic 42% relative risk reduction (p=0.05) in fatal/non-fatal strokes in the Atacand group compared to the control group, despite little difference in blood pressure lowering.

A total of 4,964 patients aged 70-89 years with systolic blood pressure 160-179 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure 90-99 mmHg were enrolled in the SCOPE* study. Patients were then randomly assigned to double-blind candesartan or placebo with standard open-label anti-hypertensive therapy added as needed to control blood pressure. 1,518 of these patients had ISH (SBP > 160 and DBP <90 mmHg).

"ISH is the predominant form of hypertension in the elderly, with stroke the most common cardiovascular complication in this age group. These results demonstrate that reducing blood pressure with Atacand offers important clinical benefit by reducing the risk of stroke in this patient group", comments Professor Papademetriou, Professor of Medicine, Department of Cardiology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

The study showed that a total of 20 strokes (3 fatal, 17 non-fatal) occurred in the Atacand treatment group, whereas 35 (7 fatal, 28 non-fatal) occurred in the control group. The study revealed similar reductions in blood pressure in the two groups; blood pressure fell by 22/6 mmHg in the Atacand group and 20/5 mmHg in the control group.

Hypertension is reported to affect about 20% of adults around the world and is considerably higher in the elderly (>60 years), with an estimated prevalence of more than 50%1. ISH is the

Contact: Lisa Marriott

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