Navigation Links
No Benefit From Niacin for Heart Patients in Study

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with cardiovascular disease who add niacin to the statin drug Zocor (simvastatin) to help lower their cholesterol get no additional clinical benefit, a new study finds.

Even though niacin appeared to increase HDL cholesterol -- the good cholesterol -- and decrease triglycerides, another type of fat in the blood, it did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or death, the researchers found.

"The data we had previously on niacin was not very strong and mostly came from one very old study," said Dr. Robert Giugliano, from the cardiovascular medicine division at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, who was not involved with the study.

The report was published online Nov. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the presentation of the findings at an American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Giugliano, who is author of an accompanying journal editorial, said the trial showed no benefit, but unexpectedly showed an increase in stroke. "Although that signal is not definite," he said.

The trial, called the Aim-High trial, was stopped in May, 18 months early because there was no proven benefit to niacin -- also known as vitamin B3 -- and an increased risk of stroke.

For the study, a team led by Dr. William Boden, a professor of medicine at the University of Buffalo in New York, randomly assigned more than 3,400 patients to receive high-dose, time-released niacin or a placebo. Patients in both groups took Zocor.

During an average follow-up period of three years, 16.4 percent of patients taking niacin had a heart attack, stroke, died from heart disease, were hospitalized or needed blocked arteries opened, compared with 16.2 percent of the patients receiving a placebo, the researchers found.

However, 1.6 percent of the patients taking niacin suffered a stroke, compared with 0.9 percent of patients taking the placebo.

Giugliano noted that another, larger trial of niacin is in progress, results of which are expected in 2013.

Niacin might be useful for patients who cannot take statins, he said. "So niacin may still have a role," he added.

However, Giugliano does not recommend patients start taking niacin. "One brand, Niaspan, sold almost $800 million worth last year. But, it's hard to support high-volume sales for a drug that doesn't have any good recent data to support it," he said.

The trial was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute with support from Abbott Laboratories, which provided the Niaspan. Drug maker Merck Pharmaceuticals provided the Zocor.

Another expert, Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a spokesman for the American Heart Association, commented that "LDL-lowering with statin therapy dramatically lowers the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with established coronary heart disease."

It has been commonly held that raising HDL and lowering triglyceride levels would be beneficial, even among patients who have achieved optimal levels with statin therapy, he said. LDL is known as "bad cholesterol."

"AIM-High has demonstrated that among patients with established cardiovascular disease, there was no clinical benefit with the addition of extended release niacin to statin therapy despite increases in HDL and decreases in triglyceride. Further there was an unexpected increase in stroke risk with niacin," Fonarow said.

"These findings challenge the commonly held hypothesis that HDL raising and triglyceride lowering is of benefit to patients with coronary heart disease, though further studies are needed," he added.

Aggressive LDL-lowering with statin therapy remains the evidence-based, guideline-recommended, gold standard for benefiting patients with and at risk for cardiovascular disease, Fonarow said.

More information

For more on cardiovascular disease, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor of cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles, spokesman for the American Heart Association; Robert P. Giugliano, M.D., Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Nov. 15, 2011, presentation, American Heart Association annual meeting, Orlando, Fla.; Nov. 15, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Former Football Players Brains May Benefit From Healthy Lifestyle
2. Cooking Class Benefits Kids in Many Ways
3. Quality of life benefits of transcatheter aortic valve replacement differ by access site
4. Concurrent chemo and radiation confers survival benefit in nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients
5. Benefits of nut consumption for people with abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure
6. Increased use of bikes for commuting offers economic, health benefits
7. Glaucoma Experts Eye Benefits of Exercise
8. Religious, spiritual support benefits men and women facing chronic illness, MU study finds
9. Parental Training May Benefit ADHD Kids Under 6: Report
10. Heart surgeons-in-training benefit from hands-on homework
11. USDA research demonstrates new breeds of broccoli remain packed with health benefits
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
No Benefit From Niacin for Heart Patients in Study 
(Date:6/26/2016)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality ... sources, yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according ... (EBO), a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, ... work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures ... Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical ... the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical devices ... , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan ... "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to develop ... the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher ... and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive ... provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic ... Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" report ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to ... of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: