Lowering Cholesterol Was Helpful, Blood Pressure Not So Much

When cardiologists gathered in Chicago at its annual meeting last weekend, they learned about a new large study called HOPE-3. What scientists and pharmaceutical sponsor, AstraZeneca, expected was evidence that one polypill to treat cholesterol and blood pressure could save lives from heart disease. A polypill is a tablet containing several drugs to achieve the goal.

The HOPE-3 Rating:

The trial, however, and the results are complicated were published in three separate reports The New England Journal of Medicine .

Lower Cholesterol:

The first analysis , scientists compared rates of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death in 12,000 people randomized to take either rosuvastatin ( Crestor ) or placebo.

None of these people had heart disease at the start of the study, which lasted five to six years. Crestor did his job lowering cholesterol. Those who take this statins reduced their LDL cholesterol by 26 percent compared to those treated with placebo.

were also about a quarter less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or death. In absolute terms, slightly more than one in 100 people have that benefit. It is important to note, however, that there was no significant difference in mortality among volunteers taking Crestor and placebo.

Researchers have noted that a few more people in Crestor in cataract surgery with placebo necessary and Crestor were more likely to report muscle pain.

New England Journal of Medicine , online April 2, 2016

lower blood pressure:

the second part of the same randomized study participants were assigned 12,705 to receive a combination treatment of blood pressure candesartan ( Atacand ) and hydrochlorothiazide with matching placebo. Data were analyzed to see how well blood pressure drugs worked to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular causes. In this case, the differences between the treatment group and the placebo group were not significant however: 4.1% of the blood pressure medicine suffered an event, compared with 4.4% placebo. People who started with systolic blood pressure of 143.5 mm Hg were significantly less likely to have this result if they were on medication for blood pressure rather than placebo. It offers some guidelines that might benefit more from treatment of high blood pressure.

New England Journal of Medicine , online April 2, 2016

The combined treatment of cholesterol and blood pressure

the third analysis focused on the combination of blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering treatment. This resulted in a significantly lower rate of cardiovascular events among volunteers in the active treatment Crestor more pills for blood pressure among those who received placebo for both treatments. People taking the active treatment were more likely to report dizziness or muscle weakness.

New England Journal of Medicine , online April 2, 2016

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