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Ridker PM

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 cholesterol levels.

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.
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