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Hypertension. 2009 Nov;54(5):1009-13. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.130914. Epub 2009 Aug 31.

Atorvastatin treatment is associated with less augmentation of the carotid pressure waveform in hypertension: a substudy of the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcome Trial (ASCOT).

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International Centre for Circulatory Health, Imperial College London & Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London W2 1LA, UK.


Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) reduce cardiovascular events in hypertensive subjects, but their effect on carotid BP, pressure augmentation, and wave reflection is unknown. We compared the effect of atorvastatin with placebo in a substudy of the lipid-lowering arm of the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT-LLA). Hypertensive patients (n=142; age=43 to 79 years; 127 male) with total cholesterol < or = 6.5 mmol/L were randomized to atorvastatin 10 mg or placebo. Carotid BP and flow velocity were measured by tonometry and Doppler ultrasound. Augmentation index (carotid AI(x)) was calculated, and waveforms were separated into backward and forward components by wave intensity analysis. Brachial BP was similar in atorvastatin and placebo groups. Carotid AI(x) and augmentation pressure were significantly less in patients randomized to atorvastatin (mean [SD]: 21.7 [12.1] versus 25.9 [10.3] %; P=0.027 and 10.2 [6.5] versus 13.1 [6.6] mm Hg; P=0.016, respectively), and atorvastatin treatment was associated with significantly less wave reflection from the body. Carotid systolic BP was slightly lower in the atorvastatin group, but there was a statistically significant interaction between lipid-lowering and antihypertensive regimen with lower carotid systolic BP in patients randomized to amlodipine-based therapy and atorvastatin. Carotid wave velocity, timings of waves, and wave intensities did not differ significantly between atorvastatin and placebo groups. Atorvastatin treatment is associated with less augmentation of the carotid BP waveform and less wave reflection from the body. This could contribute to the reduction in risk of cardiovascular events by statins.

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