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What Is the Connection between Statins and Blood Pressure?

By S. Berger
Updated May 17, 2024
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Statins are a class of medication often used to control cholesterol, though they have other potential effects on the human body, as well. One property of these drugs that could prove clinically useful for some individuals involves the relationship between statins and blood pressure. People taking type of this medication sometimes show a reduction in blood pressure, which allows them to work in multiple ways to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Links between statins and blood pressure were first discovered through research conducted at the University of California - San Diego (UCSD) in 2008. There were 973 people in the study, who were taking one of two types of statin drugs to control their cholesterol. Many of these people showed lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure during the study when measurements were taken. While the reductions in pressure were not large, they still were enough to be significant.

As with other types of medications, the effects that can occur with statins and blood pressure do not seem to be permanent changes. Researchers noted that after most individuals stopped taking their assigned drugs, their blood pressure returned to the levels that they were at before they began the study. Therefore, any therapeutic regimen that would involve statins and blood pressure would probably have to involve daily use of these compounds. Additionally, some of these statins may work more effectively in this regard than others, with simvastatin often showing a larger effect than the other drug used, prevastatin.

The relationship between statins and blood pressure could help explain their beneficial properties. In past studies, researchers have noticed that many people taking these drugs have shown improvements in their health that were much more rapid than might be expected from medications that only lowered cholesterol. These positive changes suggested that statins might, therefore, have other effects on the body. Along with reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, they seem to also provide relief for inflammation and plaques in the bloodstream for some people, as well.

Despite these results, researchers in the UCSD study have cautioned that it may be too soon to tell whether statins would be an appropriate treatment for people with high blood pressure. Individuals that they researched had blood pressure readings that were in the normal ranges, meaning that these drugs may not significantly lower pressure that is consistently elevated. Therefore, people with this medical condition may wish to consult a medical professional on treatments that would work the best for their particular situation.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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