The results of a study published in the Lancet, and presented at the ESC Congress show that patients diagnosed with hypertension made remarkable improvements when put on BP and cholesterol-lowering drugs. Working effectively for more than a decade the drugs have improved survival statistics among patients offering the better prognosis.
Around 8580 patients from the UK were a part of the study – ASCOT, acronym for Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial. Professor Peter Sever, National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College, UK who jointly led the study had this to say “The findings are remarkable”. This is a huge development, considering that statins have been proved for the first time to have an impact on patients with BP.
Dr.Ajay K Gupta, William Harvey Research Institute, Quen Mary University, London, UK, who jointly led the study said that patients with high blood pressure during their 60s, and who were on a regimen that included statins and a channel blocker based BP lowering treatment, were less likely to die from heart or stroke disease when they were around 75 years.
Just before the year 2000, ASCOT had recruited patients for this study. Patients with high blood pressure and those considered to be high-risk categories for cardiovascular disease were considered for the study. Dr.Gupta added that the findings supported treatment regimens comprising a BP lowering therapy and a statin.
The initial ASCOT study had a mandate to ascertain if newer treatment options were more effective than older regimens in preventing and reducing the risk of heart attack. In the study, high BP patients were chosen randomly to undergo the treatment which comprised a calcium channel blocker with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. Medication was administered over five and half years, at which stage the trial was discontinued following positive results from the newer treatment which prevented the incidence of stroke and deaths.
The Director of the William Harvey Research Institute, Professor Mark Caulfield remarked encouragingly that the study underscored the importance to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels for reducing the risk of heart disease in patients.