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New research finds that cholesterol busting statins also reduce blood pressure

A new study led by researchers at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick reveals that patients using cholesterol busting statins get a bonus benefit from such drugs as the Warwick researchers have now found that statins also have a positive effect on blood pressure levels.

The research, led by Professor Francesco Cappuccio at Warwick Medical School, examined 20 studies on the effects of statins that covered 828 patients. Of those 20 studies 291 patients were given statins, 272 were given a placebo and 265 were on crossover trials. Some of the studies looked specifically at hypertensive patients, the others considered a full range of conditions.

The researchers found that the use of statins did produce a drop in blood pressure. The overall effect of the use of statins was a 1.9 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and 0.9 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure. The effect was even more pronounced in patients with high blood pressure (systolic over 130 mmHg) who showed an average drop of 4.0 mmHg if treated with statins.

This research clearly shows that treatment with statins produces a small but significant reduction in blood pressure. The effect is lower than the average effect of regular antihypertensive drugs. However this is an added bonus for patients already using statins to reduce cholesterol and the use of statins may reduce the dose and number of drugs a patient would require to keep their blood pressure at a satisfactory level.

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The research has just been published in (Hypertension 2007, doi: 10.1161/ 01.HYP.0000259737.43916.42) in a paper titled "Do Statins Reduce Blood Pressure? A Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials "

Peter Dunn | alfa
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