The newspaper of Imperial College London
 Issue 148, 19 January 2005
Taking Imperial from strength to strength«
UK-Thai scientific collaboration boosted by new agreement«
Cirque du Soleil in the main entrance«
A nose job«
Frizzy hair today, gone tomorrow«
New microscope gives boost to UK nanotechnology«
Lord Sainsbury visits Imperial«
Imperial leads the way in surgical training and innovation«
New programme will train next generation of health leaders«
Tea off to good health«
Success halts trial«
The perfect Formula«
Spotlight on new R&D solutions«
Imperial students are best trainees«
Cash boost for Wye’s top new scholars«
In Brief«
Media mentions«
What’s on«

Success halts trial

An international trial launched in 1997, which compared drugs to lower blood pressure, has been stopped early due to the significantly better performance of one of the treatments.

The 19,000-patient Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT), jointly coordinated by Imperial College and the Scandinavian Coordinating Centre, compared a new treatment strategy for hypertension against an old one, in order to judge their effectiveness in the prevention of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes in hypertensive patients. It was conducted across the UK, Ireland and the five nordic countries, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

The older treatment strategy, based on the beta-blocker atenolol and the thiazide diuretic, bendroflumethiazide was compared with a newer one using the calcium channel blocker, amlodipine, and the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, perindopril. The blood pressure part of the trial was brought to a close in November 2004, when the cardiovascular benefits of the newer strategy became clear.

ASCOT study co-chairmen Björn Dahlöf, from the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Östra, Sweden, and Peter Sever, NHLI, commented: “This is excellent news for the many people who suffer from high blood pressure. Although at the moment we are unable to provide any definite figures on the effectiveness of the new treatments compared with the old, we have seen important significant differences.” 

The complete results of the ASCOT trial, the largest European-based prospective, randomised hypertension trial ever to be conducted, will not be made available until all data up to and including the last individual patient visit have been collected and analysed over the next few months.

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