A recent study has indicated that ACE inhibitors (Analapril, Ramipril, etc.) commonly used for treating blood pressure can help the elderly keep fitter for a longer time. Researchers say that ACE inhibitors that help to control blood pressure (by inhibiting an enzyme that causes narrowing of arteries) also help to maintain the strength of muscles in patients suffering from heart failure. In fact, it is also beneficial for old people not suffering from any heart disease.
To analyze this effect of ACE inhibitors a study was conducted on 850 elderly females and it was found that those women who were taking ACE inhibitors regularly showed a less decline in their muscle strength (and hence walked quickly) as compared to those women who took the medicine occasionally. Although this study was done only in women, research has shown encouraging results in men also.
Researchers feel that once this additional effect of ACE inhibitors is confirmed through some more trials, it can be used not only as a first hand treatment for high blood pressure but also to maintain preserve muscle strength in the elderly people.