Background: Hypertension is considered resistant if blood pressure cannot be reduced to <140/90 mmHg with an appropriate triple-drug regimen, including an oral diuretic, with all agents administered at maximal dosages. This definition has evolved with the development of new therapies and evidence-based data supporting treatment to lower BP goals.
Objective: To assess whether vitamin C and atorvastatin improve endothelial function and blood pressure control in subjects with resistant arterial hypertension and dyslipidemia.
Methods: Forty-eight hyperlipidemic subjects with RH (office systolic BP >140 mmHg and/or office diastolic BP >90 mm/Hg notwithstanding antihypertensive treatment with three medications in maximal doses) were randomized into three groups to receive additional medication for 8 weeks. Group VTC (n = 17) – mean 24 hour SBP 150.6 ± 5.2 mmHg, DBP 86.1 ± 3.3 mmHg, low density lipoprotein 158.1 ± 24.5 mg/dl) – received vitamin C 500 mg per day; Group ATR (n = 15) – mean 24 hour SBP 153.1 ± 4.8 mmHg, DBP 87.1 ± 6.7 mmHg, LDL 162.6 ± 13.6 mg/dl) – received atorvastatin 20 mg/day; and Group PLA (n = 16) – mean 24 hour SBP 151.1 ± 7.4 mmHg, DBP 84.8 ± 5.9 mmHg, LDL 156.7 ± 26.1 mg/dl – received a placebo. High resolution ultrasound was used to calculate brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, and 24 hour ambulatory BP monitoring was performed at study entry and after 8 weeks.
Results: In the ATR group there were significant reductions of SBP (DSBP1-2: 13.7 ± 5.6 mmHg, P < 0.001), DBP (DDBP1-2: 7.8 ± 5.7 mmHg, P < 0.01), LDL (DLDL1-2: 67.7 ± 28.3 mg/dl, P < 0.001) and improvement of brachial artery FMD (DFMD2-1: 4.2 ± 2.6%). No significant changes in BP, LDL and FMD were observed in the other two groups.
Conclusions: In subjects with RH and dyslipidemia, atorvastatin 20 mg/day compared to vitamin C 500 mg/day may help to achieve better BP control and improve endothelial function in a finite period. A larger trial is needed to assess the drug's efficacy in this population for longer periods.