Blood Pressure Affects Atherosclerosis in Diabetes

High systolic pressure speeds atherosclerosis progression; antihypertensive treatment slows it

TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diabetes, antihypertensive treatment may slow the progression of subclinical atherosclerosis, according to the results of a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Ling Zheng, Ph.D., of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a two-year post hoc cohort analysis of 276 mostly Hispanic patients who were enrolled in the Troglitazone Atherosclerosis Regression Trial.

The researchers found that patients with higher systolic blood pressure had a higher progression rate of carotid artery intima-media thickness. They also found that antihypertensive therapy reduced the harmful effect of systolic blood pressure on carotid artery intima-media thickness. These associations were independent of age, randomized treatment assignment and change in fasting glucose, the report indicates.

"The antiatherogenic effect of antihypertensive agents, including blood pressure normalization and possible direct vascular wall protection, can be detected by carotid artery intima-media thickness progression using B-mode ultrasound in patients with diabetes mellitus," the authors conclude.

This study was supported by an investigator-initiated grant from Parke-Davis Pharmacological Research.

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