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High-Dose Statin Therapy May Lower Heart Risks

More effective than standard regimen

MONDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- A high-dose statin regimen is more likely than standard treatment to prevent non-fatal cardiovascular problems, according to a report in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Christopher Cannon, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues reviewed the literature on four clinical trials that compared intensive statin therapy with standard-dose therapy among patients with either stable coronary heart disease or acute coronary syndromes. The researchers performed a statistical analysis to determine the likelihood of a patient experiencing a coronary death or any cardiovascular event.

The investigators found a 16 percent reduction in coronary deaths or heart attacks among patients given high-dose statins. The predominant benefit was prevention of non-fatal heart attacks, strokes and unstable angina. By extrapolating the data, the authors suggest that for every million patients with chronic or acute coronary artery disease treated for five years, intensive statin therapy would prevent more than 35,000 cardiovascular events, including more than 14,000 coronary deaths or heart attacks.

"These data support a broader use of intensive statin therapy for patients with stable coronary heart disease, as well as those with a recent acute coronary syndrome," the authors conclude.

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