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The Effects of Statins Questioned

In a recent study researchers focused on the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs also known as statins and their impact on cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels. C-reactive protein is a protein // produced by the liver that predicts inflammation in the arteries. One study shows C-reactive protein measurement is an important key to determining cardiovascular risk. Researchers focused on whether the lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and C-reactive protein levels had an impact on patients' outcome. Specialists looked at the two markers in patients who were treated with one of two statin drugs. The risk of heart attack and death in the patients was also assessed.

Statin therapy was found to reduce LDL levels and the C-reactive protein levels. Patients with low C-reactive protein levels after statin therapy fared better than those with higher C-reactive protein levels. This finding happened regardless of the LDL cholesterol level. Thus researchers say strategies to lower cardiovascular risk with statins should include monitoring CRP as well as cholesterol.

In another study more intensive statin therapy was found to improve the reduction in cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels. Patients' outcome after different levels of statin therapy was studied. Heart patients received either moderate treatment, which included 40 milligrams of a statin or intensive therapy, which included 80 milligrams of a statin per day. Patients underwent tests to determine their rate of atherosclerosis progression, which measures hardening of the arteries.

Thus in conclusion researchers say patients with heart disease should undergo intensive statin therapy to reduce the rate of progression of atherosclerosis as intensive therapy lowered both LDL and C-reactive protein levels more than the moderate therapy.

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