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Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

Statin Therapy, LDL Cholesterol, C-Reactive Protein, and Coronary Artery Disease
Steven E. Nissen, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine, 1-6-05

Researchers in this study “performed intravascular ultrasonography in 502 patients with angiographically documented coronary disease. Patients were randomly assigned to receive moderate treatment (40 mg of pravastatin orally per day) or intensive treatment (80 mg of atorvastatin orally per day). Ultrasonography was repeated after 18 months to measure the progression of atherosclerosis. Lipoprotein and CRP levels were measured at baseline and follow-up.”

Overall, the study found that “the mean LDL cholesterol level was reduced from 150.2 mg per deciliter (3.88 mmol per liter) at baseline to 94.5 mg per deciliter (2.44 mmol per liter) at 18 months…and the geometric mean CRP level decreased from 2.9 to 2.3 mg per liter (P<0.001). The correlation between the reduction in LDL cholesterol levels and that in CRP levels was weak but significant in the group as a whole…but not in either treatment group alone.”

The researchers concluded that “for patients with coronary artery disease, the reduced rate of progression of atherosclerosis associated with intensive statin treatment, as compared with moderate statin treatment, is significantly related to greater reductions in the levels of both atherogenic lipoproteins and CRP."



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