The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker (ARB) candesartan can reduce the risk of stroke in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH). Isolated systolic hypertension is the predominant form of hypertension in the elderly, and stroke is the most common cardiovascular (CV) complication. In the Study on Cognition and Prognosis in the Elderly (SCOPE), 4,964 patients age 70 to 89 years were randomly assigned to double-blind candesartan or placebo with open-label antihypertensive therapy (mostly thiazide diuretics) added as needed to control blood pressure. Of the 4,964 patients, 1,518 had ISH (systolic blood pressure >160 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg). The present study is a predefined subgroup analysis of outcome results in the ISH patients. Of the ISH patients, 754 were randomized to the candesartan group and 764 to the control group. Over the study period, blood pressure was reduced by 22/6 mm Hg in the candesartan group and by 20/5 mm Hg in the control group (difference between treatments 2/1 mm Hg; p = 0.101 and 0.064). A total of 20 fatal/non-fatal strokes occurred in the candesartan group (7.2/1,000 patient-years) and 35 in the control group (12.5/1,000 patient-years); relative risk (RR) was 0.58 (95% confidence interval 0.33 to 1.00), that is, a RR reduction of 42% (p = 0.050 unadjusted, p = 0.049 adjusted for baseline risk). There were no marked or statistically significant differences between the treatment groups in other CV end points or all-cause mortality. In elderly patients with ISH, antihypertensive treatment based on the ARB candesartan resulted in a significant 42% RR reduction in stroke in comparison with other antihypertensive treatment, despite little difference in blood pressure reduction.,
Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Papademetriou, V., Farsang, C., Elmfeldt, D., Hofman, A., Lithell, H., Olofsson, S., … Zanchetti, A. (2004). Stroke prevention with the angiotensin II type 1-receptor blocker candesartan in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension: The study on cognition and prognosis in the elderly (SCOPE). Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 44(6), 1175–1180. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2004.06.034