Features June 2009 Issue

Statins’ Reach Extends Beyond Cholesterol Management

Recent studies suggest the medication provides a range of cardiovascular benefits, but a healthy lifestyle is still vital to cardiac health.

Statins may have been initially developed to reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol in the body, but research continues to show a much broader potential for the medications. Earlier this year, the landmark Justification for Use of Statins in Prevention: Rosuvastatin (JUPITER) study showed that the drugs provided a nearly 50 percent relative risk reduction for stroke and heart attack among people with normal cholesterol but high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which appears in the bloodstream in response to inflammation in the body. Results of the study were presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in February. Javier Provencio, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic Cerebrovascular Center says one of JUPITERís most important lessons is that CRP levels, which can remain chronically elevated in patients with diabetes, for example, need to be monitored and managed to reduce risk of cardiac events.

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