Blood Pressure Medication May Help COPD Patients


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Losartan as a COPD Treatment?

Chest x-ray of a patient with severe COPD. Photo by: James Heilman, MD

In this study, researchers tested Losartan in mice that were exposed to cigarette smoke. In the study, they divided six to eight week old mice into three groups:

  • *Group 1 was  a control group where mice were exposed to clean, filtered air.
  • *Group 2 contained mice that were exposed to cigarette smoke.
  • *Group 3  included mice that were exposed to cigarette smoke and had Losartan in their drinking water.

The two experimental groups of mice were exposed to cigarette smoke two hours a day, five days a week for six to seven weeks. Researchers found that Losartan reduced lung disease in mice by blocking the protein angiotensin receptor type 1. This reduces the damage of cigarette smoke  to the lungs. The study also found that Losartan improved the oxidative stress, decreased inflammation and metalloprotease activation, and improved elastain levels in the lung tissue. This study has provided other scientists with a building block to develop other TGF-beta therapies for patients with COPD.

COPD Management Recommendations

Treatments for COPD will continue to improve, but COPD is a long-term disease that greatly impacts your quality and quantity of life. Cessation of tobacco products can decrease your chances of developing COPD.  There are multiple methods of smoking cessation, so talk with a health care provider for help with quitting.


American Lung Association. COPD. Accessed December 19, 2011.

Podowski, M., Calvi, C., Metzger,S., Misono, K., Poonyagariyagorn, H., Lopez-Mercado, A., Ku,T., Lauer, T., McGrath-Morrow, S., Berger, A., Cheadle, C., Tuder, R., Dietz, H.,Mitzner, W., Wise, R.,Neptune, E.  Angiotensin receptor blockade attenuates cigarette smoke–induced lung injury and rescues lung architecture in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2011). doi:10.1172/ JCI46215. Accessed on December 19, 2011.

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