Effects of sartans and low-dose statins on cerebral white matter hyperintensities and cognitive function in older patients with hypertension: a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial

Hua Zhang, Yi Cui, Yingxin Zhao, Yuanli Dong, Dandan Duan, Juan Wang, Lin Sheng, Tiantian Ji, Tingting Zhou, Wenjing Hu, Yali Chen, Shangwen Sun, Gary Gong, Qiang Chai, Zhendong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) and cognitive impairment are common in elderly hypertensive patients, and more needs to be learned about their prevention and treatment. Our aim was to investigate the effect of low-dose statins on WMH and cognitive function in elderly patients undergoing antihypertensive treatment. A total of 732 elderly hypertensive patients taking hydrochlorothiazide as their baseline medication were randomized using a 2 × 2 factorial design with antihypertensive (telmisartan vs. placebo) and lipid-modulating (low-dose rosuvastatin vs. placebo) arms. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cognitive function data were obtained. After a mean follow-up time of 59.8 (range 12–65) months, there were no differences in WMH progression and cognitive function decline over time between the groups in the antihypertensive arm. The risks of new-incident WMH Fazekas scale scores ≥ 2 and the incidence of cognitive impairment did not differ between the telmisartan and placebo groups. Rosuvastatin use was associated with lower risks of new-incident Fazekas scale scores ≥2 (hazard ratio = 0.500; 95% confidence interval: 0.34–0.74) and cognitive impairment (hazard ratio = 0.54; 95% confidence interval: 0.36–0.80). Telmisartan interacted with rosuvastatin on reducing WMH progression and cognitive function decline. Findings suggest that low-dose rosuvastatin could reduce WMH progression and cognitive function decline in antihypertensive patients, as demonstrated by the interaction between telmisartan and low-dose rosuvastatin to this effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-729
Number of pages13
JournalHypertension Research
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Keywords

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Neuroprotective effect
  • Vascular risk factor
  • White matter lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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