Although lowering blood pressure (BP) reduces aortic stiffness, achieving the recommended BP goal can be difficult. Recent studies have shown that short-term use of statins can reduce BP significantly. To determine the long-term effects of statins on BP and aortic stiffness, a single-blind randomized prospective study was performed on 85 hyperlipidaemic hypertensive patients whose BP was insufficiently controlled by antihypertensive therapy. Every 3 months, aortic stiffness was assessed by measuring pulse wave velocity (PWV). Patients were randomly allocated to groups treated with pravastatin, simvastatin, fluvastatin, or a nonstatin antihyperlipidaemic drug. No significant differences in patient characteristics, kinds of antihypertensive drugs, BP, ankle brachial index, PWV, or serum lipid, creatinine, or C-reactive protein levels were found between the four groups at the start of the study. During the 12-month treatment period, PWV did not change in the pravastatin group or nonstatin group, but it was transiently reduced in the simvastatin group and significantly decreased in the fluvastatin group, even though the doses of the statins used in this study were lower than the usually prescribed dose. All four antihyperlipidaemic drugs significantly decreased serum cholesterol levels without affecting BP, ankle brachial index, or serum triglyceride levels. The C-reactive protein serum levels decreased significantly in the three statin groups but not in the nonstatin group. These results suggest that long-term use of fluvastatin by hyperlipidaemic hypertensive patients is associated with a significant reduction in aortic stiffness without any effect on BP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas