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J Atheroscler Thromb. 2005;12(4):205-10.

Effect of atorvastatin on regional arterial stiffness in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.



A statin, a potent lipid-lowering drug, improves pain-free walking distance in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) without increasing the ankle-brachial pressure index (ABI). Arterial stiffness affects the blood flow of peripheral arteries. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of cholesterol-lowering with atorvastatin on regional arterial stiffness in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.


The subjects were 22 type 2 diabetic patients with hypercholesterolemia, who received atorvastatin at a daily dose of 10 mg for 6 months. Before and after the treatment with atorvastatin, we measured pulse wave velocity (PWV) in the heart-brachial, heart-carotid, heart-femoral and femoral-ankle segments.


Following treatment with atorvastatin, femoral-ankle PWV showed a significant reduction. The PWV of other arterial segments tended to decrease, although the changes were not statistically significant. We found no significant changes in blood pressure, heart rate, ABI, or plasma concentrations of glucose, L-arginine and asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of endothelial function.


Atorvastatin treatment was associated with an improvement in the stiffness of leg arteries in type 2 diabetes mellitus. This may partly explain the statin-mediated improvement of walking performance in those with PAD.

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