Association of statin therapy with progression of carotid arterial stiffness: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Anatoliy Nechyporenko, Yacob G. Tedla, Claudia Korcarz, Matthew C. Tattersall, Philip Greenland, Adam D. Gepner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Arterial stiffness progresses with age and is a predictor of adverse cardiovascular disease events. Studies examining associations of statin therapy with arterial stiffness have yielded mixed results. Associations between the duration and intensity of statin therapy and arterial stiffness have not been studied in a prospective multiethnic cohort. MESA participants (n = 1242) with statin medication use data at each exam (1–5) and who had undergone B-mode carotid ultrasound at baseline and at Exam 5 after (mean ± [SD]) 9.4 ± 0.5 years were analyzed. Carotid arterial stiffness was measured using the distensibility coefficient (DC) and Young’s elastic modulus (YEM). Linear regression models were used to evaluate associations between DC and YEM and statin treatment duration and intensity. At baseline, participants were 66.5 ± 8.1 years old, 41% female, 36% White, 30% African American, 14% Chinese American, and 20% Hispanic. The mean baseline low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) was 149.5 ± 14.5 mg/dL. After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and CVD risk factors, the percent changes in DC and YEM were found to not be significantly different in individuals on statin therapy at any combination of visits (1–4) compared to participants never on statin therapy (all p > 0.32). There were also no differences in the percent change in DC and YEM based on statin therapy intensity by quartile (all p > 0.14) over the 10-year follow-up period. Based on the aforementioned results, statin therapy was not associated with changes in carotid artery stiffness over nearly a decade of follow-up regardless of therapy duration or intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-687
Number of pages9
JournalHypertension Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Multiethnic
  • Risk factors
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of statin therapy with progression of carotid arterial stiffness: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this