Background: In the Evaluation of Losartan in the Elderly (ELITE) heart failure study, a survival benefit (primarily because of a reduction in sudden deaths) was observed in symptomatic patients treated with losartan compared with captopril. Methods and Results: The Losartan Heart Failure Survival Study - ELITE II (currently ongoing) is a double-blind, randomized clinical trial being conducted in 45 countries at 288 sites. ELITE II formally tests the hypotheses that losartan, compared with captopril, will reduce all-cause mortality (primary end point) and sudden cardiac death and/or resuscitated cardiac arrest (secondary end point). In addition, all-cause mortality and/or hospitalizations and cardiovascular mortality and/or hospitalizations will be evaluated. The trial has 90% power to detect a 25% treatment difference in all-cause mortality (event driven, 510 deaths). Substudies are examining quality of life, health care resource utilization, and mechanisms related to the reduction in sudden death. During recruitment (June 1997 to May 1998), 3,152 patients aged 60 years or older (mean age, 71.6 years), with New York Heart Association classes II (51%), III (44%), and IV (5%), and left ventricular ejection fraction of 40% or less (mean, 31%) were randomized to receive either 12.5 mg of losartan, titrated as tolerated to 50 mg once daily, or 12.5 mg of captopril, titrated as tolerated to 50 mg thrice daily. Randomization was stratified by clinical site and for baseline beta-blocker use. Conclusion: The ELITE II study will further define the role of losartan in the treatment of patients with symptomatic heart failure relative to the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril, an agent from a class currently considered standard treatment for this disease.
- Heart failure