Friday, December 30, 2005

Statins - more good news

People with very low levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol who suffer a heart attack or other severe acute cardiac event may benefit from initiating a statin right after the event, a study shows.

Patients hospitalized for an acute cardiac event who had very low LDL cholesterol levels were much less likely to die or experience a second heart attack or stroke at six months, if started on a statin, compared to those patients who were not discharged on statin therapy.

Mean LDL levels on admission to the hospital were 63 milligrams per deciliter -- well below the current treatment goal of less than 70 milligrams per deciliter in high-risk patients.

The findings suggest that patients who present with severe acute heart disease and very low LDL cholesterol "may still derive benefit from statin therapy," the researchers conclude.

Non-lipid effects of statins have been studied for some time. What are the benefits?

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