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Statins Reduce Blood Pressure in Normotensive Subjects

Related study shows that diet reduces risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Statins modestly reduce blood pressure in men and women with normal blood pressure, according to a report in the April 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. A related study in the same issue notes that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, low in dairy products, and low in animal proteins is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women.

In the first study, Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the University of California San Diego in La Jolla randomly assigned 973 men and women without cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus and who were not taking or needing blood pressure medication to 20 mg simvastatin, 40 mg pravastatin, or placebo. They found that statins modestly but significantly reduced both systolic (by a mean of 2.2 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (by a mean of 2.4 mm Hg).

In the second study, Teresa T. Fung, from Simmons College in Boston, and colleagues examined (through a food frequency questionnaire) how adherence to a diet high in fruits and vegetables, moderate in low-fat dairy products, and low in animal but high in plant protein affected the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in 88,517 female nurses. During 24 years of follow-up, they found that better adherence to this diet was associated with a significantly lower risk of both coronary heart disease and stroke.

"In conclusion, a diet…with high intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, moderate intake of legumes, nuts and low-fat dairy products, and low intake of red and processed meats and sodium, was significantly associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women," Fung and colleagues write.

Abstract - Golomb
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Abstract - Fung
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