Statin use is associated with higher rates of BP control, according to researchers.A team led by Dana E. King, MD, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, studied 2,584 hypertensive patients aged 40 years and older with no historyof cardiovascular disease. The patients had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which looked at a nationally representative sample of Americans. Of the 2,584 subjects, 14.2% were using statins. Results showed that 52.2% of statin users had their BP under control (defined as a BP <140/90 mm Hg) compared with 38% of those who did not take statins, the investigators report in American Journal of Hypertension (2007;20: 937-941). Additionally, after adjusting for age, race, gender, BMI, and diabetes, statin users were twice as likely as nonusers to have their BP under control. Following further adjustment for exercise, smoking, low-salt diet,and use of antihypertensive medications, statin users were 46% more likely to have their BP under control.Statins have anti-inflammatory effects,so the investigators adjusted for levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). This change had a minimal effect on the association.“Thus, the relationship of statin use and BP may not be due to inflammation but to other mechanisms, such as effects on the renin-angiotensin system or endothelial vasoreactivity,” the authors noted. “Another possibility is that CRP may not be an accurate measure of the antiinflammatory activity of statins.”The association between statin use and BP control was strongest among those who used statins as well as antihypertensive drugs, the researchers observed.Statin use was significantly greater among whites than African Americans and among diabetics than nondiabetics. Furthermore,more statin users than nonusers were taking an antihypertensive drug (74.9% vs.50.1%) and were on a low-sodium diet (53.2% vs.38.2%).The results support the conclusion that statin use is associated with a BP <140/90.“The confirmation of the association in a large, diverse population, and its persistence after controlling for age, race, sex, BMI, diabetes, smoking, exercise, and low-salt diet, strengthens the evidence for the relationship between statin use and blood pressure,” the authors wrote.
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