Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reduced progression of atherosclerosis tied to statin drugs lowering fats, protein

06.01.2005


Aggressive therapy with statins -- drugs that inhibit cholesterol synthesis -- works better than moderate statin therapy in reducing fats and proteins in the blood that have been linked to atherosclerosis, a new multi-center study concludes. Statins’ effects on both complex compounds appear beneficial in cutting patients’ cardiovascular risks.



Atherosclerosis is the progressive disease process, often called hardening of the arteries, in which blood vessels slowly narrow with brain- and heart-threatening plaque, something like rust blocking water flow in an iron pipe.

A report on the research appears in Thursday’s (Jan. 6) issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.


More than three dozen investigators from across the country participated in the research, including first author Dr. Steven E. Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Dr. Sidney C. Smith Jr.

A past president of the American Heart Association, Smith is professor of medicine and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Science and Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He also served on the steering committee of a second, closely related investigation appearing in the same issue and led by Dr. Paul M. Ridker of Harvard Medical School and others.

Scientists designed the first study to investigate the relative contributions of statins in lowering fats in blood and also C-reactive protein (CRP), the most reliable laboratory measure of systemic inflammation in the body. It involved performing ultrasound tests on 502 U.S. patients with documented coronary artery disease.

Half the patients then received 40 milligrams of pravastatin, while the rest underwent the more aggressive treatment of 80 milligrams of atorvastatin. Doctors repeated the ultrasound evaluations 18 months later.

In the group as a whole, the mean LDL cholesterol level dropped from 150.2 milligrams per deciliter to 94.5 milligrams per deciliter. Both cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels correlated with progression of patients’ disease.

"Patients with reductions in both LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein that were greater than the median had significantly slower rates of progression than patients with reductions in both biomarkers that were less than the median," the authors wrote.

The second study involved 3,745 people. Patients who were found to have low C-reactive protein levels after treatment fared better than those with higher CRP levels, regardless of their post-therapy cholesterol level.

"Taken together, these two studies emphasize the importance of inflammation in patients with coronary heart disease and suggest that inflammatory markers such as CRP may be useful along with traditional risk factors such as LDL cholesterol in patient management," Smith said. "The question at this point is what further therapy or therapies might be most effective in such patients."

Results of prospective, randomized clinical trials could be helpful in resolving that question, he said. They also should contribute to important decisions about improving guideline recommendations.

"Patients who are on low-dose statin therapy may benefit by increases in their statin therapy," Smith said. "However, those already taking maximum doses of statin, as well as all patients with coronary heart disease, should know that smoking cessation, weight loss and exercise all are associated with improvements in CRP levels.

"These studies confirm the value of lipid lowering for patients with coronary heart disease and suggest that therapy targeted to reduce the active inflammatory state may carry additional benefits," he said.

Dr. Michael R. Ehrenstein and colleagues in the department of medicine at University College in London wrote an accompanying editorial.

The two articles confirm that reducing the inflammatory component of cardiovascular disease through use of statin therapy improves clinical outcomes independently of the reduction in serum cholesterol levels, the authors wrote.

"…The list of disorders for which statins might prove beneficial is growing and now extends from multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative disorders to rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus," they wrote.

David Williamson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New combination therapy established as safe and effective for prostate cancer
26.06.2019 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

nachricht Novel model for studying intestinal parasite could advance vaccine development
26.06.2019 | University of Pennsylvania

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: Fraunhofer IDMT demonstrates its method for acoustic quality inspection at »Sensor+Test 2019« in Nürnberg

From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap

Im Focus: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Shell increases versatility of nanowires

26.06.2019 | Materials Sciences

Hubble finds tiny 'electric soccer balls' in space, helps solve interstellar mystery

26.06.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New combination therapy established as safe and effective for prostate cancer

26.06.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>