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Statins 'have no antihypertensive effect'

By Lilian Anekwe

Statins have no additional blood pressure-lowering effect in controlled hypertensive patients, a randomised controlled trial has found.

Apart from their impact on lipid levels statins are also thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect which protects tissues and organs for cardiovascular risk factors. But recently a third – directly antihypertensive - mechanism has been suggested.

To test this hypothesis, Italian researchers randomised 508 patients aged 45 to 70 with hypertenstion and hypercholesterolaemia to an antihypertensive treatment with or without the addition of pravastatin 40mg daily.

But the researchers found no significant difference between treated hypertensive patients given a statin and those who were not.

Both groups had a ‘clear cut sustained reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure' during an average of 2.6-years of follow-up. Patients on pravastatin performed slightly worse than placebo, but the difference was only -0.9 mmHg, which did not reach statistical significance.

Dr Giuseppe Mancia, a researcher in the department of clinical medicine and prevention at the University of Milano-Boccia, concluded: ‘Administration of a statin in hypertensive patients in whom blood pressure is effectively reduced by concomitant antihypertensive treatment does not have an additional blood pressure lowering effect. This suggests that the protective effects of these drugs on the cardiovascular system do not depend on a reduction in the blood pressure.'

BMJ published online 25 March 2010

Statins have no additional blood pressure-lowering effect in controlled hypertensive patients, a randomised controlled trial has found Statins have no additional blood pressure-lowering effect in controlled hypertensive patients, a randomised controlled trial has found

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