Healthy patients could benefit from statins

Statin treatment can cut heart attacks and strokes among people with healthy cholesterol levels, a US study has shown.

Credit: iStockphoto/ Günay Mutlu

Researchers from Harvard Medical School gave rosuvastatin (Crestor) 20mg or placebo to 17,082 men and women with LDL cholesterol levels below 3.4mmol/l .

Those given rosuvastatin were 44% less likely to suffer a cardiovascular event, defined as a myocardial infarction, a stroke or an arterial revascularisation, or admission to hospital for unstable angina or death from cardiovascular causes.

The study set out to examine statin treatment in men and women with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels of at least 2.0mg/l.

The trial was stopped early in April due to overwhelming efficacy.

The researchers say that low rates of cardiovascular events among people with low C-reactive protein - an inflammation marker believed to be linked to heart disease - levels and low cholesterol levels would make a study in this group unfeasible.

The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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