Sunday, November 09, 2008

A New Age Of Statins?

From Forbes:
A new study could lead millions more Americans to take cholesterol-lowering drugs and generate billions in sales for AstraZeneca, which funded it. But first comes a furious debate.

The study, called Jupiter, gave either AstraZeneca's Crestor or placebo to 18,000 patients who received bad scores on a little-known blood test for C-reactive protein (CRP) that is thought to measure inflammation in the arteries. Patients who took Crestor were half as likely to have heart attacks, strokes or operations to open clogged arteries as those getting placebo, an effect that ranks among the best results seen with the two-decade old class of cholesterol drugs called statins, of which Crestor is the most potent.

"It takes prevention to a new level because it applies to a whole group of patients who would not get a statin today," says Douglas Weaver, president of the American College of cardiology. In a statement, Elizabeth Nabel, head of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, says adding CRP tests to those for blood pressure and cholesterol "could identify millions more adults for whom treatments with statins appears to lower the risk of heart attack." ..more

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