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Statins' added BP benefit

Statins have the additional benefit of lowering blood pressure in patients with hypertension, the first study to analyse all available evidence concludes.

The systematic review, by a UK team of primary care researchers, found systolic blood pressure was on average 1.9mmHg lower and diastolic blood pressure 0.9mmHg lower in patients on statins than those on placebo.

Statin-treated patients with the highest blood pressures at the start of trials showed the largest falls in blood pressure by the end of treatment.

The researchers analysed 20 studies including 324 patients randomised to a statin and 301 to placebo, as well as 262 who took part in crossover trials.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio, a researcher on the study and professor of cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology at the University of Warwick, said: 'This is the first meta-analysis to show statin therapy has a small but significant, favourable effect, on blood pressure. This has useful implications for patients in primary care.'

Dr Rubin Minhas, a GP in Gillingham, Kent, and CHD lead for Medway PCT, described the findings as a 'small, added bonus'.

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