LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 – Combining a blood pressure-lowering drug with a cholesterol-lowering drug can reduce first-time strokes by 44 percent, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s 2018 International Stroke Conference. the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

75% of strokes are first-time strokes. High blood pressure and high cholesterol increase the risk of stroke, which is the fifth leading cause of death in America. However, it is not clear whether taking a combination of drugs that lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels can protect people from stroke.

Now, a study involving 12,705 participants in 21 countries shows that blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce the risk of stroke, but when used in combination, they provide greater protection.

Among the finds:

A daily dose of two blood pressure medications (fixed-dose candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide) plus a cholesterol-lowering drug (low-dose rosuvastatin) was most effective in reducing first-time strokes by 44 percent among moderate-risk patients. heart disease.

For people with high blood pressure, or blood pressure of 143.5 mm Hg or higher, taking 16 milligrams of candesartan and 12.5 milligrams of hydrochlorothiazide daily reduced the risk of stroke by 42 percent.

Compared to a placebo, strokes were reduced by 30 percent among participants who took 10 milligrams of rosuvastatin daily.

“These results suggest that people with high blood pressure should consider lowering their blood pressure and cholesterol to prevent stroke in people at moderate risk, and lowering cholesterol is important for everyone,” said study leader Jackie Bosch. Ph.D., McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. “These existing drugs are well-tolerated, have a high safety profile, and patients find them easy to use.”

The findings are from the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation Study, a major international study aimed at preventing heart disease and stroke. The average age of participants was 66; Forty-six percent were women, and 166 strokes occurred during an average follow-up of 5.6 years. The mean blood pressure at the beginning of the study was 138/82 mm Hg. A normal blood pressure reading is approximately 120/80 mm Hg.

Based on these findings, Bosch said researchers are looking to develop a single drug that lowers both blood pressure and cholesterol with the same effect as multiple drugs.

Co-authors include Evan Lonn, M.D.; Jun Zhu, M.D.; Prem Pais, MD; Denise Xavier, PhD; Antonio Dance, MD; Rafael Diaz, MD; Robert Hart, Ph.D., Salim Yusuf, M.B. B.S., D.Phil. Author comments are included in the abstract. The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

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