Harvard Health Letter

ACE inhibitors may lower pneumonia risk

Angiotensin-converting–enzyme (ACE) inhibitors help relax blood vessels, which can help lower blood pressure. This, in turn, reduces the heart's workload. A recent study found an additional benefit to ACE inhibitors. Researchers discovered that ACE inhibitors were associated with a significant reduction in pneumonia risk. That same study, published in the July 11 issue of the journal BMJ, also looked at angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and found that they were not associated with any significant protection against pneumonia. Taking ACE inhibitors reduced the risk of pneumonia by 30% compared with ARBs. This news is especially important to those who have had a stroke, as researchers noted that about 20% of stroke survivors contract pneumonia.

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