Statins lower blood pressure as well as cut cholesterol

Statins may help to lower BP levels independently of their cholesterol-lowering ability, US research suggests.

Previous studies have indirectly shown that statins could play a role in reducing BP in patients with hypertension.

But this latest randomised controlled trial is the first to focus on the association, and showed that statin use could lower BP by up to 2.4mmHg.

It involved 973 adults with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or diabetes. For six months, 322 participants took simvastatin 20mg daily, 323 pravastatin 40mg daily and the remaining 328 participants were given a placebo.

The researchers found that statins had no impact on BP after one month of treatment, but showed a significant impact after six months. Systolic BP was reduced by an average of 2.2mmHg and diastolic BP by an average of 2.4mmHg among those taking the statins compared with the placebo group.

However, two months after treatment was stopped the beneficial affect on BP was lost.

Arch Intern Med 2008; 7: 721-727

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