Statin Drugs May Help the Healthy
Cholesterol-Lowering Statin Drugs May Benefit People Without Heart Disease
Nov. 27, 2006 -- Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may prevent heart attacks
and strokes among people who don't already have cardiovascular disease, a study
Researchers say their analysis of previous studies shows statins may benefit
those without cardiovascular disease or elevated cholesterol levels.
The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, could
add to the debate over the potential benefits, risks, and cost-effectiveness of
statins. Examples of statins include Zocor, Lipitor, Pravachol, Crestor,
Lescol, and Mevacor.
Statins for Health?
In the study, researchers analyzed the results of seven major clinical
trials on statins involving nearly 43,000 people, 90% of whom had no history of
In each study, the participants randomly received statins, placebo, or
another form of care and were followed for at least one year; the average
follow-up ranged from three to five years.
The results showed that people without heart disease or stroke who took
statins had a nearly 30% lower risk of coronary heart event, including heart
attack, and 14% lower risk of stroke compared with those who
But taking statin drugs did not significantly reduce the risk of death due
to heart disease or any other cause.
Not everyone may be able to take statins because of medical conditions such
as liver disease. Side effects may include abnormal liver function, muscle
aches, muscle damage, allergic reaction, dizziness, abdominal pain,