05/14/2010 - Articles

Do statins help control blood pressure?

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Statins are known to reduce high cholesterol levels and thereby reduce the risk of heart disease. Some studies have suggested that statins might also be able to lower blood pressure. If this is true, then this would be an added benefit for those at risk of heart disease. Many patients have both high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and will be taking statins for the first and a blood pressure-lowering drug for the second. Could they be getting extra ‘value for money’ from their statins? A new study from researchers in Milan sought to answer this question.

They carried out a three year study on a group of 508 men and postmenopausal women aged 45-70 years. The participants had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They were given a blood pressure-lowering drug and also either the statin pravastatin or a placebo.

Blood pressure went down over time in all participants, although it did not reach optimal levels. There was no difference between the group on statins and the group on a placebo. This was so for both 24 hour blood pressure and for blood pressure measured in the clinic. These findings suggest that statins do not have any extra effects on blood pressure over and above their effect in lowering cholesterol.

 

Source:

Mancia G et al Statins, antihypertensive treatment, and blood pressure control in clinic and over 24 hours: evidence from the PHYLLIS randomised double blind trial. British Medical Journal 17th April 2010;340:846

 

Created on: 05/12/2010
Reviewed on: 05/14/2010

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