According to a global trial, patients with high blood pressure and a moderate risk of heart disease can cut their chances of having a heart attack or stroke by 40%. This is achieved by taking a blood pressure medication in combination with an anti-cholestrol statin.
The trial, HOPE-3, headed by Dr. Salim Yusuf, a professor of cardiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, was conducted on 12 000 patients across the globe, with research centers in China, India, Latin America, Africa and Canada. Patients were deemed eligible for the trial if they had at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as obesity or smoking, and were over the age of 55 years (men) and 60 years (women).
Dr. Yusuf commented: “Intermediate-risk people with hypertension had a clear benefit when taking both a statin and an agent that lowers blood pressure.”
Patients with high blood pressure, for the trial’s purposes deemed a systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher, experienced a 40% decline in the risk of having a heart attack or stroke if the combination of drugs was taken over a six-year period. The study also looked at patients with normal or low systolic pressure and compared those that received both drugs, against those that received a statin only. The results showed that the risk of cardiovascular events was lowered by 25% in both groups.
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