Monday Nov 10, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- People even
with normal range of cholesterol may benefit from taking Crestor, a statin made
by Astra-Zeneca, according to a study presented in New Orleans at the American
Heart Association's Scientific Sessions.
The 1.9-year study found cardiovascular event like heart
attacks, strokes, and deaths from cardiovascular causes was found in 0.9% of
statin users had one of these events, compared to 1.8% of placebo users.
The study involved 18,000 apparently healthy men and
women who had normal cholesterol levels but higher levels of high-sensitivity
C-reactive protein (hsCRP), a risk marker for heart risk.
Nearly half of all heart attacks and strokes occur among
people with normal cholesterol levels below which statin treatment is not recommended,
wedmd.com reported. The results of the study suggest that taking Crestor may
also benefit these apparently normal people.
One another observation is that those who took Crestor
during the 1.9 year study had their low density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol
and hsCRP lowered by 50 and 37 percent respectively.
The participants had LDL cholesterol levels of less than
130 milligram per deciliter when entering the study and none had diagnosed
diabetes or heart disease. They had also 2.0 milligrams per liter or higher of
The participants were at actually higher cardiovascular
risk because 1 to 3 milligrams per liter of hsCRP indicates moderate risk of heart
disease, Paul M. Ridker, MD, lead author of the study, of Boston's Brigham and
Women's Hospital was cited by wedmed.com as saying.
Both the reduced cardiovascular outcomes and biomarker
hsCRP suggest that healthy people with high levels of the marker, but lower
cholesterol may benefit from Crestor.
The study also demonstrated that hsCRP levels may be more useful than
early thought in assessing heart disease.
Evidence is so much that there has been no doubt that
statins can effectively lower cholesterol.
Statins are designed and used to lower cholesterol, but that is not the
The ultimate goal statins are
used to achieve is to reduce cardiovascular risk.
Studies have shown and many prominent experts have
agreed that statins are beneficial to those who have underlying conditions that
raise their heart risk, but the benefit for those without risk factors is negligible.
For the current trial, some experts still believe that
the benefits of Crestor are quite limited for healthy people.
Mayo Clinic cardiologist and American Heart Association
past-president Raymond Gibbons, MD, was quoted as telling wedmd.com "there
are still unanswered questions about who should take these drugs."
In an editorial published with the study, which was
scheduled to appear in the Nov. 20 issue of The New England Journal of
Medicine, Mark A. Hlatky, MD, of Stanford University wrote cited by wedmd.com
that it is still not clear if treating relatively low-risk people with statins
for many decades to have a tiny reduction in heart risk is worthwhile.
He suggested that the risk of taking Crestor may outweighs
the benefit because in the study one heart attack, stroke or death from cardiac
cause would require 120 people to take the drug for 1.9 years and long term use
of the drug as well as other stains has side effects in some people.
Crestor is not free of adverse effects. In the current
1.9-year trial, those who were treated with the statin, were at slightly higher
risk of diabetes than the controls.
long term effect could be worse.
Increased risk for diabetes is not the only side effect
that people need to be aware of.
serious adverse effect which is commonly associated with use of any type of
statin, is serious muscle damage.
Omega-3 fatty acid and red yeast rice cut cardiovascular disease
A health observer suggests that those who want to reduce
cholesterol and heart risk may consider some alternatives that have proved to
One review study conducted by Ong HT and Cheah JS of HT
Ong Heart Clinic in Penang, Malaysia and published in the Aug 2008 issue of
Chinese Medical Journal showed that omega-3 fatty acids and red yeast rice can
effectively prevent clinical cardiovascular events.
Ong and Cheah reviewed prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled
studies that involved at least 2,000 patients and were followed up for at least
2 years. They found that modest doses of omega-3 fatty acid reduced sudden
death by 45 percent and cardiac death by 35 percent as shown in the 3.5 year
GISSI-P study of 11,324 patients.
Another study called JELIS study of 18,645 Japanese
patients also showed that high doses of omega-3 through a fish fish diet
further reduced risk of non-fatal cardiovascular events by 19 percent.
These patients were already on a statin.
Still another study called CCSPS (4870 patients,
follow-up 4 years) showed xuezhikang, a commercial red yeast rice preparation,
reduced risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction and coronary death by 46
Regardless, those who have risk factors such as underlying
heart conditions may benefit from taking a statin like Crestor.
In those people, benefits of statins may
Disclaimer: What's published on this website should be considered opinions of respective writers only and foodconsumer.org which has no political agenda nor commercial ambition may or may not endorse any opinion of any writer. No accuracy is guaranteed although writers are doing their best to provide accurate information only.
The information on this website should not be construed as medical advice and should not be used to replace professional services provided by qualified or licensed health care workers. The site serves only as a platform for writers and readers to share knowledge, experience, and information from the scientific community, organizations, government agencies and individuals.
Foodconsumer.org encourages readers who have had medical conditions to consult with licensed health care providers - conventional and or alternative medical practitioners.