Drug Combo May Help Endothelial Function

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A recent trial from the University of Minnesota suggests that atorvastatin and thecalcium channel blocker (CCB) amlodipine used together offer additive benefits tosmall artery compliance (a measure of endothelial function). Reduced arterial complianceis characteristic of both hypertension and dyslipidemia, and statins andCCBs are thought to have beneficial effects on endothelial function, which is intrinsicallylinked to small artery compliance.

The study team investigated the effects of the 2 drug classes on vascular compliancein a nested study that was part of the larger AVALON trial. A total of 667patients were randomly assigned to receive either placebo, 5 mg amlodipine, 10 mgatorvastatin, or both medicines. After 8 weeks of treatment, there was a markedimprovement in small artery elasticity with the combination, compared with eitherdrug used alone. The team speculated that the effect of combination therapy mightbe influenced by the central role of nitric oxide, the bioactivity of which is increasedby both medicines via differing routes.

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