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ACC: Crestor Does Not Reverse Subclinical Atherosclerosis

Researchers find that rosuvastatin reduces rate of arterial thickening but doesn't induce regression

MONDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Rosuvastatin slows the rate of arterial thickening and halts but does not reverse atherosclerosis in middle-aged adults with Framingham risk scores of less than 10 percent and evidence of subclinical atherosclerosis, according to a report published online March 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with the American College of Cardiology's annual conference in New Orleans.

During the two-year Measuring Effects on Intima-Media Thickness: an Evaluation of Rosuvastatin (METEOR) study, John R. Crouse III, M.D., of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues randomly assigned 984 patients to receive either rosuvastatin or placebo.

Compared to the placebo group, the researchers found that the rosuvastatin group had significantly slower progression of maximum carotid intima-media thickness at 12 sites and no significant progression of atherosclerosis. They also found that the rosuvastatin group had significant reductions of total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides (34, 49 and 16 percent, respectively) and an 8 percent increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

"Should low-risk individuals undergo routine arterial imaging followed by statin therapy when evidence of asymptomatic disease is discovered?" asks the author of an accompanying editorial. "On the basis of current evidence, including the METEOR trial, the answer is clearly no."

The study was funded by AstraZeneca.

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