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Impact of nicorandil in angina: subgroup analyses


Aims: IONA (impact of nicorandil in angina) is a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial of nicorandil, with a target dose of 20 mg twice daily. The consistency of benefits seen in subgroups is reported.

Methods: The primary composite end point of the study was coronary heart disease death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or unplanned hospitalisation for cardiac chest pain. Subgroups were defined using baseline characteristics including, age, sex, histories of smoking, diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction, revascularisation, anginal status, anti-anginal treatment, other cardiovascular drugs, and an overall assessment of risk.

Results: A total of 5126 patients were randomised to receive nicorandil or identical placebo in addition to standard anti-anginal treatment. Overall, nicorandil reduced the incidence of the primary end point from 15.5% to 13.1% (hazard ratio (HR) 0.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72 to 0.97; p  =  0.014). There was no evidence of significant heterogeneity of benefit across all subgroups studied. The absolute risk reduction was greatest and the numbers needed to treat to prevent one event was lowest in subjects at greatest risk.

Conclusions: The IONA study demonstrates a significant improvement in outcome by nicorandil treatment across a broad range of patients with stable angina.

  • ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme
  • CCS, Canadian Cardiovascular Society
  • IONA, impact of nicorandil in angina
  • NNT, number needed to treat
  • nicorandil
  • stable angina of effort
  • clinical trial

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