Heart Beat: January 2011
Cardiologists prescribe cholesterol-lowering statins to help patients reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke by lowering their LDL cholesterol levels. Physicians now can provide statins to patients without high cholesterol but who have elevated levels of inflammation or C-reactive protein (CRP), which has been identified as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of rosuvastatin (Crestor) based on the results of an international study, JUPITER. It found that healthy people with normal or low cholesterol but high CRP who took rosuvastatin cut their risk of death from heart attack or stroke by 44 percent compared with placebo-treated patients.