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 SouthCarolina in Charleston, studied2,584 hypertensive patients aged40 years and older with no historyof cardiovascular disease. The patientshad participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,which looked at a nationally representative sample of Americans. Of the 2,584subjects, 14.2% were using statins.

Results showed that 52.2% ofstatin users had their BP undercontrol (defined as a BP <140/90mm Hg) compared with 38% ofthose who did not take statins,theinvestigators report in AmericanJournal of Hypertension (2007;20:937-941). Additionally, after adjustingfor age, race, gender, BMI,and diabetes, statin users weretwice as likely as nonusers to havetheir BP under control. Followingfurther adjustment for exercise,smoking,low-salt diet,and useof antihypertensive medications,statin users were 46% more likelyto have their BP under control.

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Statins have anti-inflammatoryeffects,so the investigators adjustedfor levels of C-reactive protein(CRP). This change had a minimaleffect on the association.

“Thus, the relationship of statinuse 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 possibilityis that CRP may not be an accurate measure of the antiinflammatoryactivity of statins.”

The association between statinuse and BP control was strongestamong those who used statins aswell as antihypertensive drugs,theresearchers 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 conclusionthat statin use is associatedwith a BP <140/90.

“The confirmation of the associationin a large, diverse population,and its persistence aftercontrolling for age, race, sex,BMI, diabetes, smoking, exercise,and low-salt diet, strengthens theevidence for the relationshipbetween statin use and bloodpressure,” the authors wrote.