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Am J Med. 2003 Apr 1;114(5):359-64.

Effects of simvastatin on walking performance and symptoms of intermittent claudication in hypercholesterolemic patients with peripheral vascular disease.

Author information

1
Cattedra di Malattie Cardiovascolari, Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena, Italy.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To analyze the effects of short-term therapy with simvastatin on walking performance in hypercholesterolemic patients with peripheral vascular disease.

METHODS:

Eighty-six patients with peripheral arterial disease (Fontaine stage II), intermittent claudication, and total cholesterol levels >220 mg/dL were enrolled in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Forty-three patients were assigned to simvastatin (40 mg/d); the remaining 43 patients were assigned to placebo treatment. All patients underwent an exercise test and clinical examination, and completed a self-assessment questionnaire at 0, 3, and 6 months. Pain-free and total walking distance, resting and postexercise ankle-brachial indexes, and questionnaire scores were determined at each follow-up.

RESULTS:

At 6 months, the mean pain-free walking distance had increased 90 meters (95% confidence interval [CI]: 64 to 116 meters; P <0.005) more in the simvastatin group than in the placebo group. Similar results were seen for the total walking distance (mean between-group difference in the change, 126 meters; 95% CI: 101 to 151 meters; P <0.001), and for the ankle-brachial index at rest (mean, 0.09; 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.12; P <0.01) and after exercise (mean, 0.19; 95% CI: 0.14 to 0.24; P <0.005). There was also a greater improvement in claudication symptoms among patients treated with simvastatin. The effects on walking performance, ankle-brachial indexes, and questionnaire scores had also been significant at 3 months.

CONCLUSION:

High-dose short-term therapy with simvastatin may improve walking performance, ankle-brachial pressure indexes, and symptoms of claudication in hypercholesterolemic patients with peripheral vascular disease.

PMID:
12714124
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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