April 1, 2008 (Chicago) — A trial of the statin medicate Crestor has been stopped early due to “unequivocal evidence” that it decreases heart attacks, strokes, and deaths due to cardiovascular disease in people with no signs of heart illness, says manufacturer AstraZeneca.

The subtle elements of the trial have not however been released. But another think about displayed at the yearly assembly of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) appears that Crestor slows the buildup of plaque that can lead to a heart attack.

This consider used uncommon X-rays of coronary arteries. Researcher Christie Ballantyne, MD, of the Center for Cardiovascular Avoidance at Baylor College of Medication in Houston, says, “We saw that on the off chance that people had a blockage and we brought down their levels of LDL with Crestor, blockages stabilized or got superior in 97% of patients.”

The study was at the same time published online by the journal Circulation.

“The message to patients is basic: Get your LDL cholesterol down as moo as you’ll get,” Ballantyne tells WebMD.

Statins Best for Lowering Cholesterol

Ballantyne says cholesterol bringing down is best accomplished with a statin drug, “especially a potent statin like Crestor” that also boosts levels of HDL “great” cholesterol.

The prematurely halted trial, known as JUPITER, pitted Crestor against a placebo in more than 15,000 patients with no prove of cardiovascular infection. They had low to ordinary LDL levels but raised levels of C-reactive protein, a blood marker of aggravation that’s been connected to heart infection.

The declaration that it was being halted came hours after an ACC panel encouraged a return to statin drugs with demonstrated clinical benefit. The board was responding to the disillusioning news that a different sort of cholesterol-lowering medicate called Vytorin was no superior than the older, cheaper statin sedate Zocor at slowing plaque buildup. Vytorin combines the unique cholesterol medicate Zetia with Zocor.

Statins with proven clinical benefit incorporate Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor; Lipitor, and Lescol.

“Now we have a clear indication that Crestor also anticipates heart assaults and other cardiovascular events,” Ballantyne says.

Plaque Buildup Moderated

Ballantyne and colleagues considered 379 patients with plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis, in the coronary arteries. The patients took a 40-milligram dose of Crestor daily for two years.

All underwent coronary angiography, X-rays of the blood vessels, at the begin and the end of the think about so doctors may visualize any changes within the measure of blockages.

The comes about appeared that Crestor treatment lowered LDL by 53% to an normal level of 61 focuses, which is well below the ideal LDL target level.

Moreover, HDL levels shot up by 14%, to 48 focuses. Most imperatively, angiograms appeared that blockages got more regrettable in as it were 3% of patients.

“In the event that blockages get more regrettable, you’re more likely to have a clinical occasion such as a heart attack. So usually great news,” Ballantyne says.

American Heart Affiliation past president Raymond Gibbons, MD, of the Mayo Therapeutic School in Rochester, Minn., says the comes about confirm a report last year that Crestor stops thickening of the arteries in individuals at moo hazard of heart attacks and strokes. Thickening of arterial dividers could be a antecedent to the buildup of plaque that can lead to heart assaults and strokes.

But, Gibbons tells WebMD, the ultimate yardstick against which to measure the sedate is how well it cuts the hazard of heart attacks, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. For that, we’ll need to anticipate the total comes about of JUPITER.

Both studies were supported by AstraZeneca.

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