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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Statins safe and effective in patients with very low LDL cholesterol.

Statins used in patients with extremely low LDL cholesterol levels are safe and may lead to improved survival, according to the results of a new study. This survival benefit, was observed across multiple subgroups, including patients with LDL cholesterol levels <40mg/dl>

The study investigated the safety and clinical outcomes associated with statin therapy in patients with very low LDL levels, such as <60 style=""> More than 6000 consecutive patients were identified from a tertiary-care medical centre or affiliated community clinic. Statin therapy was defined as a prescription during the 150 days after the low LDL value (<60mg/dl) style="">

During a median follow-up of two years, there were 510 deaths. After controlling for the propensity to receive a statin, statin therapy was associated with a significant 35% reduction in the risk of death. The lower mortality was observed across various subgroups, including a 42% reduction in total mortality among those treated with a statin at baseline, a 49% reduction among those with LDL cholesterol levels <40 style="">

In terms of potential side effects, statin therapy was not associated with an increase in any adverse events. No cases of rhabdomyolysis were reported, nor was there a risk of developing liver enzyme elevations. There was also no increase in the risk of malignancy or renal insufficiency.

Circulation 30 July 2007; 116:613-618
Heartwire News Service per Medscape News 3 August 2007(registration required)

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