High Doses of Statins Tied to Less Arterial Plaque
Two-thirds of patients given high-dose Crestor or Lipitor had reduced buildup in vessel walls.
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay News
Don't Miss This
Sign Up for OurHeart HealthNewsletter
Thanks for signing up!You might also like these other newsletters:
TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2011 (HealthDay News) —High doses of the cholesterol-lowering statins Crestor and Lipitor reduced the amount of plaque in coronary arteries and reversed the progression of coronary artery disease, new research shows.
The study included 1,385 patients who took either 40 milligrams (mg) of Crestor (rosuvastatin) or 80 mg of Lipitor (atorvastatin) daily and were followed for two years.
The major finding was that the amount of coronary artery plaque fell 0.99 percent with Lipitor and 1.22 percent with Crestor. The difference between the two drugs is not statistically significant, the researchers noted.
"Regression of plaque has been the holy grail of heart disease treatment, and in this trial more than two-thirds of the patients had regression," lead researcher Dr. Stephen J. Nicholls, cardiovascular director of the Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research in Ohio, said in an American Heart Association news release.
"It's a very positive outcome for patients and shows the benefits of high doses of statins," Nicholls added.
The findings were to be presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., and are published in theNew England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by AstraZeneca, which markets Crestor.
Among the other study findings:
- Crestor reduced total plaque in 71.3 percent of patients and Lipitor reduced total plaque in 64.7 percent of patients.
- Average levels of "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were 62.6 mg/dL in patients taking Crestor and 70 mg/dL in patients taking Lipitor.
- Average levels of "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were 50.4 mg/dL in patients taking Crestor and 48.6 mg/dL in patients taking Lipitor.
"The differences between the two drugs were modest and the difference in HDL levels was less than we were anticipating based on previous studies," Nicholls said in the news release.
The patients in this study had undergone coronary angiography, usually because they'd experienced chest pain and had abnormal results on a stress test.
In previous studies of patients who had similar characteristics and took lower doses of statins, 15 percent to 20 percent suffered a heart attack or stroke or required angioplasty to open a clogged artery over two years of follow-up. The rate of such events among patients in this new study was less than half of that.
"Doctors have been reluctant to use high doses of statins, but in this study the drugs were safe, well-tolerated and had a profound impact on lipid levels, the amount of plaque in vessel walls and the number of cardiovascular events," Nicholls said.
Video: How to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed | Daniel Levitin
The 15-Minute Core-Scorcher Workout You Need Right Now
The Bad Habit Prince Harry Has Given Up For Meghan
Hallmark Will Debut 33 New Christmas Movies This Year
Try Some Cool Scandi Style For A Bedroom Uplift
All About Grapefruit: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, Types, and More
1-2-3 Pumpkin Butter
How to Make Healthy Muffins
Mr Porter Kingsman Menswear Collection
How to Make out in a Movie Theatre
10 decadent airport spa treatments
How to Check if Steak Is Done Using the Finger Test