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Aggressive Treatment Benefits Metabolic Syndrome

High-dose statin therapy reduces risk of major cardiovascular events

FRIDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- High doses of atorvastatin can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in those with coronary heart disease and metabolic syndrome, according to a study published online Sept. 5 in The Lancet.

Prakash C. Deedwania, M.D., from the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues studied 10,001 coronary heart disease patients aged 35 to 75, of whom 5,584 also had metabolic syndrome. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 10 mg/day or 80 mg/day atorvastatin.

After three months, levels of low-density lipoprotein fell in those with metabolic syndrome, with a bigger decrease in those receiving 80 mg/day atorvastatin. After a median follow-up of 4.9 years, those with metabolic syndrome had significantly fewer major cardiovascular events if they were taking the higher dose (9.5 percent versus 13 percent, hazard ratio 0.71). However, all patients with metabolic syndrome were at higher risk of having a major cardiovascular event than those without metabolic syndrome (hazard ratio 1.44), which was significantly reduced by treatment with 80 mg/day atorvastatin.

The results "support the concept of the higher the risk, the greater the need to treat and to treat aggressively," Andre J. Scheen, M.D., of CHU Sart Tilman in Liege, Belgium, writes in an accompanying editorial.

The study was funded by Pfizer, and the company's employees helped in data collection and analysis.

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