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ASA: Combo of BP, Cholesterol Meds Tied to Reduced Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 2018 -- For patients with intermediate risk of cardiovascular disease, combining antihypertensive therapy and statin medications is associated with a 44 percent reduction in stroke, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, held from Jan. 24 to 26 in Los Angeles.

Jackie Bosch, Ph.D., from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues randomized 12,705 participants from 21 countries with an intermediate risk of cardiovascular disease to fixed-dose candesartan plus hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) or placebo and to rosuvastatin daily or placebo in a 2 × 2 factorial design.

The researchers found that there were 166 strokes during a median follow-up of 5.6 years. The mean baseline blood pressure was 138/82 mm Hg; during follow-up, the blood pressure difference between the treatment groups averaged 6.0/3.0 mm Hg. There were reductions of 20 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 0.59 to 1.08; P = 0.14) and 30 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.95; P = 0.02) in stroke with candesartan/HCTZ and rosuvastatin, respectively. Participants in the upper third of systolic blood pressure had a 42 percent reduction in stroke (95 percent confidence interval, 0.37 to 0.90; P = 0.02). Individuals receiving both rosuvastatin and candesartan/HCTZ had a 44 percent reduction in stroke (95 percent confidence interval, 0.36 to 0.87; P = 0.009).

"Blood pressure lowering plus cholesterol lowering should be considered in those with elevated blood pressure, and cholesterol lowering should definitely be considered for all," Bosch said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Posted: January 2018