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American Heart Association Late Breaking Clinical Trial Report: In Patients on Statins, Raising Good Cholesterol with Niacin, but not Reducing Bad Cholesterol with Ezetimibe, Decreases Plaque Build-Up
Date:11/15/2009

d bile acid resins," said Allen J. Taylor, M.D. FAHA, principal investigator of the study and director of Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging and the Lipid/Prevention Clinic in the Department of Medicine (Cardiology) at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

In earlier studies demonstrating the protective effects of statins, researchers found strong associations between LDL cholesterol reduction and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Consequently, many people now view LDL cholesterol reduction as a way to measure whether a treatment will be useful.

But HALTS researchers' findings "challenge the use of LDL reduction as a guaranteed surrogate for clinical performance, particularly for new clinical compounds, and in this particular case, ezetimibe," Taylor said. Patients should know their HDL numbers and, if they are low, ask their doctors if adding a treatment such as niacin is right for them once their LDL is treated to goal with a statin drug, he said.

Co-authors are: Todd C. Villines, M.D.; Patrick J. Devine, M.D.; Mark Turco, M.D.; Len Griffen, M.D.; Michael Miller, M.D.; Eric J Stanek, Pharm. D.; and Neil J Weissman, M.D.

Study sponsor: Abbott Inc. (initially Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cranbury, N.J.) provided an unrestricted, investigator-initiated research grant administered by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine in Rockville, Md. The investigators were solely responsible for all aspects of the study and the final decisions on manuscript content.

Disclosures: Dr. Taylor reports receiving lecture fees from Abbott. Dr. Turco reports receiving consulting and lecture fees from Abbott Cardiovascular. Dr. Miller reports receiving lecture fees and grant support from Merck-Schering Plough. Dr. Villines reports receiving lecture fees from Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Devine reports receiving consulting fees from Medacorp, MDLinx, and Guidpoint Global, equity o
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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