Beyond lipid lowering: the anti-hypertensive role of statins.

The management of the hypercholesterolemic patient has evolved tremendously with the introduction of the HMG-CoA Reductase inhibitors, a class of drugs better known as the statins. Statins modify cholesterol metabolism by inhibiting the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol biosynthesis, producing greater decreases in plasma cholesterol levels than previously realized with hypolipidemic therapy. With the advent of the classic statin-megatrials such as the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S), WOSCOPS, CARE, and the more recent Heart Protection Study (HPS), the role of statins in both the primary and secondary prevention and ultimate risk reduction of patients with coronary disease has been firmly established.
With an increase in use and popularity, a number of beneficial actions of the statins unrelated to their cholesterol-lowering ability have been reported. These effects have generated greater interest in the possible additional roles and indications for the use of these drugs. Of central focus in this paper is the cholesterol-independent benefit of this group of agents on the cardiovascular system, particularly on the lowering of systemic blood pressure. A number of hypotheses have been proposed for this action and these shall be reviewed within this paper.
We explore recent data that suggests that statins may provide substantial reduction of blood pressure in the hypertensive, hypercholesterolemic patient independent of their lipid-lowering effect. In addition, we review several notable publications that postulate unique mechanisms for this action and benefit. We also present plausible explanations as to why some of the larger statin trials did not report similar such findings.
AuthorsVineet Chopra, Palak U Choksi, Erdal Cavusoglu
JournalCardiovascular drugs and therapy / sponsored by the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy (Cardiovasc Drugs Ther) Vol. 21 Issue 3 Pg. 161-9 (Jun 2007) ISSN: 0920-3206 [Print] United States
PMID17468937 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Antihypertensive Agents (pharmacology, therapeutic use)
  • Blood Pressure (drug effects)
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (pharmacology, therapeutic use)
  • Hypertension (drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Hypolipidemic Agents (pharmacology, therapeutic use)
  • Treatment Outcome

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