Crestor Halts Artery Thickening
Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Stops Progression of Early Artery Disease, Study Shows
A More Powerful Statin Drug
Crouse says the findings add to evidence that Crestor may be a more powerful drug for modifying heart disease risk than other statins.
“If you look at the history of other statins, this is the most powerful drug for lowering LDL and it also has these additional attractive qualities of raising HDL and halting the atherosclerotic process,” he says.
ACC President Stephen Nissen, MD, chief of cardiovascular medicine at The Cleveland Clinic, says doctors now would not prescribe Crestor to low-risk people with normal cholesterol and “one study doesn’t change that.
“However, there may be people who are very early in the process of developing heart disease who could benefit. Now we have to figure out who they are,” he tells WebMD.
Additionally, the findings “raise the question of whether we should be screening low-risk people to see if they have thickening of the artery walls,” Crouse says.
Crestor is already approved for improving cholesterol levels. Manufacturer AstraZeneca, which funded the new study, has submitted an application to the FDA to expand its use to include prevention of atherosclerosis, according to a company spokesperson.
The application is supported by both the new study and findings reported at last year’s ACC meeting. Those findings showed that Crestor partially reversed the buildup of plaque in coronary arteries in people with signs of heart disease and at higher risk for future heart attacks and strokes.