Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

No reason to fear very low LDL

12.10.2005


Patients on statin treatment need not worry about cholesterol dropping too low

(Very low LDL cholesterol levels appear to be safe for heart patients on statin therapies, according to a new study in the Oct. 18, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"There was no apparent safety concern for patients whose resultant LDL on intensive therapy was lower than current guidelines. There was a trend toward improved clinical outcomes in the lowest LDL groups," said Stephen D. Wiviott, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.



The researchers used data from a large trial comparing two cholesterol-lowering statin drugs in patients following acute coronary syndromes, such as unstable angina or heart attacks, the Pravastatin or Atorvastatin Evaluation and Infection Therapy–Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction 22 (PROVE IT-TIMI 22) study. This new analysis involved 1,825 heart patients who had received high doses (80 milligrams per day) of atorvastatin. More than 90 percent of the patients had LDL (low-density lipoprotein, the so-called "bad" cholesterol) levels below the target level of 100 milligrams per deciliter of blood after four months of therapy. Some patients saw their LDL levels drop below 40 mg/dl.

Dr. Wiviott said that they reviewed this data from PROVE IT because some studies have suggested an association between very low levels of cholesterol and higher rates of death, strokes caused by bleeding, and other health issues. Rather than assessing the safety of statin treatment itself, this analysis looked at the effects of various levels of LDL by comparing the results for patients who were all taking the same high doses of atorvastatin.

"While the main results of the trial demonstrated that intensive statin therapy is superior to moderate statin therapy in patients following acute coronary syndromes, there has been concern among the medical community about treating patients with very high doses of potent statins. This stems largely from the epidemiologic literature which shows that patients with very low cholesterol, not on treatment, have higher mortality," Dr. Wiviott said.

There was no significant difference in safety outcomes among the groups of patients, including rates of death, bleeding strokes, or muscle, liver or retinal abnormalities. What’s more, the patients who achieved LDL levels of 60 mg/dl or lower had fewer major cardiac events, including death, heart attack, stroke, recurrent coronary artery blockages or treatment to reopen coronary arteries.

Dr. Wiviott said the results offer reassurance to patients and clinicians using high doses of statins following acute coronary syndromes. "In order to achieve the greatest benefit following acute coronary syndromes, patients should be treated early with intensive statin therapy. There is no need to reduce the dose in follow-up just because LDL is well below targeted levels," he said.

Dr. Wiviott noted that the PROVE IT trial was not originally designed to answer questions about the safety of very low LDL levels.

"This type of analysis should be considered ’hypothesis generating’ and needs to be confirmed in other studies," he said.

John J.P. Kastelein, M.D. from the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, who was not connected with this study, but who is helping to lead two large long-term studies of intensive statin therapy, welcomed this first solid information about the safety of low LDL levels.

"What’s very important for me is that this trial is the first indication that very low LDL levels are actually safe. Of course, the time frame is modest, but it is the first indication that we can sustain low LDL levels without any cost in terms of extra side effects," Dr. Kastelein said.

Amy Murphy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acc.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>