ACC Press Release: Statin appears to reduce inflammatory
markers in patients with cardiovascular risk factors
Am Coll Cardiol PR
(Mar) 21:Web, 2001
The following press release was issued by the American College of Cardiology concerning a
paper presented at the March 2001 Annual Meeting:
(ORLANDO, FLA.)_Statin drugs, now widely given to people with elevated blood
cholesterol to reduce their risk of heart
attacks and stroke, seem to work by reducing arterial inflammation as well as
lowering cholesterol. But most of the
evidence suggesting that the anti-inflammatory effects of statins play a role
in their benefits has been inconclusive.
Now, for the first time, a randomized trial has shown prospectively that
treatment with a statin agent, pravastatin,
significantly reduces blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator
of inflammation, in persons at risk for
cardiovascular disease. The findings, according to Dr. Paul M. Ridker, have
immense implications for the treatment of
millions of Americans who have elevated CRP levels but apparently normal
Elevated CRP levels reflect the presence of ongoing inflammation, which is
known to play a role in the development of
heart disease. Retrospective analyses have strongly suggested that
pravastatin, and perhaps other statin drugs, have an
anti-inflammatory effect indicated by reductions in CRP levels.
But the placebo-controlled "Pravastatin Inflammation/CRP Evaluation" (PRINCE)
trial was intentionally designed to show
whether pravastatin can reduce CRP levels. Not only does the drug have that
effect, according to the PRINCE findings,
but it does so independently of its well-recognized cholesterol-lowering
effects, said Dr. Ridker, of Brigham and
Women's Hospital, Boston.
Dr. Ridker is scheduled to present the results of the PRINCE trial at 9 a.m.
on Wednesday, March 21, at the American
College of Cardiology 50th Annual Scientific Session in Orlando, Fla.