Heart Beat: February 2010

In a study of more than 23,000 men, researchers found that those who had none of the following risk factors: obesity, smoking and physical inactivity had a 59 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease events and a 77 percent lower risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. Authors of the study, which appeared in the Dec. 14-28, 2009 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, say that this may be the first study to estimate the "combined health benefits" of not smoking, maintaining a healthy cardiorespiratory fitness level (as measured by a treadmill test) and having a normal waist girth (lesss than 38 inches for men, 35 inches for women). By comparison, men in the study who smoked, were physically inactive and had a waist size of more than 38 inches had an overall life expectancy that was 14 years shorter than that of their healthier counterparts.FDA CONSIDERS BROADER USE FOR ROSUVASTATINRosuvastatin (Crestor) may be the first statin approved for primary prevention of heart disease by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. An FDA advisory panel recommended in December 2009 that rosuvastatin should be considered for use in patients with normal LDL ("bad" cholesterol) levels, but who are at low to moderate risk for cardiovascular disease based on other risk factors-primarily elevated levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP). The decision was based on the results of the Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: An Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin (JUPITER) trial, which showed that apparently healthy individuals who would not ordinarily qualify for statin therpy reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality by 44 percent with rosuvastatin.
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