Brief communication: ramipril markedly improves walking ability in patients with peripheral arterial disease: a randomized trial.

Annals of Internal Medicine

PubMedID: 16670135

Ahimastos AA, Lawler A, Reid CM, Blombery PA, Kingwell BA. Brief communication: ramipril markedly improves walking ability in patients with peripheral arterial disease: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(9):660-4.
BACKGROUND
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects up to 12% of adults older than 50 years of age. Conventional therapies have only modest effects in improving symptoms.

OBJECTIVE
To examine the effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition on walking ability in patients with PAD.

DESIGN
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial initiated in March 2003 and completed in January 2005.

SETTING
The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS
40 older adults with symptomatic PAD and no history of diabetes or hypertension.

INTERVENTION
10 mg of ramipril (n = 20) or placebo (n = 20) once daily for 24 weeks. All patients completed the trial.

MEASUREMENTS
Pain-free and maximum walking time were recorded during a standard treadmill test, and the standard Walking Impairment Questionnaire was administered.

RESULTS
After adjustment for the baseline pain-free walking time, mean pain-free walking time after ramipril treatment was 227 seconds (95% CI, 175 seconds to 278 seconds; P < 0.001) longer than that after placebo treatment. Similarly, maximum walking time improved by 451 seconds in the ramipril group (CI, 367 seconds to 536 seconds; P < 0.001) but did not change in the placebo group. Ramipril improved the Walking Impairment Questionnaire median distance score from 5% (range, 1% to 39%) to 21% (range, 12% to 58%; P < 0.001), speed score from 3% (range, 3% to 39%) to 18% (range, 8% to 50%; P < 0.001), and stair-climbing score from 17% (range, 4% to 80%) to 67% (range, 38% to 88%; P < 0.001). No adverse events were reported.

LIMITATIONS
The sample size is modest, and the strict inclusion criteria limit the applicability of the results to patients with claudication and infrainguinal disease and those without diabetes.

CONCLUSION
Ramipril improved pain-free and maximum walking time in some adults with symptomatic PAD.