Short-Term Safety and Efficacy of Low-Dose Simvastatin in Elderly Patients with Hypertensive Hypercholesterolemia and Fasting Hyperinsulinemia

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To evaluate the short-term safety and efficacy of low-dose (10 mg) simvastatin in hypercholesterolemic, hypertensive elderly Chinese patients receiving antihypertensive treatment, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-month trial was conducted. The patients had a total plasma cholesterol level of at least 250 mg/dL and had been, for at least 3 months, consuming a standard lipid-lowering diet (American Heart Association Step 1 Diet). Elderly hypertensive patients (n = 76) were randomized to receive treatment with either placebo (n = 38) or simvastatin (n = 38). The dosage consisted of 10 mg simvastatin daily during the 3-month trial. During that period, in the simvastatin group, plasma levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly (27% and 33%, respectively) compared with those levels in plasma in the placebo group. The plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased (7%), whereas triglyceride levels slightly decreased (8%). There were no serious side effects, and simvastatin was generally well tolerated. Fasting hyperinsulinemia also improved (-21%) after 3 months of simvastatin therapy. Results of this study confirmed that a low dose (10 mg) of simvastatin daily is a safe and effective method of reducing plasma levels of total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic, hypertensive elderly patients receiving concurrent antihypertensive drug therapy, and that it has the additional potential benefit of reducing plasma levels of insulin.

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