Researchers have find that taking both blood pressure drugs and statins (drugs that help control cholesterol levels) might be effective for people with high blood pressure (hypertension), who are at risk of heart disease.
Recently, researchers from the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University London in the United Kingdom have made public the results of a study that examined the efficacy of different treatments in preventing cardiovascular disease.
READ ALSO: Heart Disease: What are the Symptoms in Men?
According to the researchers, a combination of blood pressure-lowering drugs and statins show the best results, the experts explain.
Dr. Ajay Gupta said that patients in their mid-60s with hypertension were less likely to die from heart disease or stroke by age 75–80 if they had taken both calcium channel blocker-based blood pressure lowering treatment and a statin.
The research team followed 8,580 participants in U.K. who were earlier recruited in 1998–2000. All of the participants had hypertension at baseline and several risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease.
The goal of the original ASCOT study was first, to test if a traditional treatment or an innovative treatment would work best for preventing heart attacks.
The results of the research was gotten from the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT) Legacy study, which continued the work started by the original ASCOT.
Some participants were given the innovative therapy, which consisted of amlodipine and/or perindopril. The other participants all took the traditional treatment of atenolol, and bendroflumethiazide to which potassium was added.
The original approach proved effective in preventing strokes and premature death after a median period of 5.5. years, so the researchers stopped the trial at that point.
The second study of ASCOT was to see whether people with high blood pressure who also took statins would be any more protected against the development of coronary heart disease. The participants took either atorvastatin or a control for 3.3 years. The trial was so successful in preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Finally, the ASCOT study also designed to assess the general effectiveness of the two therapies for blood pressure in individuals with hypertension and high blood pressure (reading over 6.5 millimoles per liter).
The researchers did not give statins to this group of participants over the 5.5 years during which they were involved in the study.
The researchers were able to assess the effectiveness of the various treatment combinations in the long-term, based on the ASCOT data.
READ ALSO: Red Meat Allergy May Harm Your Heart
They discovered that the study participants who had taken amlodipine and perindopril for 5.5 years had a 29 percent lower chance of having died due to a stroke 10 years later, compared with the participants who followed the traditional therapy for blood pressure.
The participants with average cholesterol levels at baseline who took a statin during the trial had a 15% lower risk of death due to heart disease and stroke after 16 years, compared with those who only took a placebo.
Also, the participants with high cholesterol at baseline who took their usual cholesterol-lowering treatment as well as the innovative blood pressure therapy saw 21 percent fewer deaths due to cardiovascular disease over 10 years.
Co-author of the study, Prof. Peter Sever said;
“These results are remarkable. We have previously shown that statins confer long-term survival benefits after trials have stopped, but this is the first time it has been found with a blood pressure treatment.”