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New Analysis Estimates Numbers of Older U.S. Adults Who May Benefit From Statin Therapy
Date:1/14/2009

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"Based on our analysis, more than 44.7 million older Americans might have an indication for statin therapy when you consider those who already meet current guidelines for statin therapy and those who might be eligible based on the criteria proposed in JUPITER," said the study's lead author Erica S. Spatz, M.D., an internist and fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University, New Haven, Conn. "That's nearly 80 percent of this segment of the population who could potentially be recommended a statin therapy if those criteria were adopted into guidelines."

The study is a numerical analysis rather than an endorsement of using statins to aggressively lower cholesterol and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in people not currently considered candidates for that therapy, as was done in JUPITER. Additionally, the exclusion criteria for study participants in the JUPITER trial may make it difficult to generalize those findings.

"Certainly the JUPITER findings were intriguing and they will be evaluated as any future revisions are considered for treatment guidelines for reducing cardiovascular risk," said American Heart Association president Timothy Gardner, M.D. "This additional analysis of that data provides useful information about how many individuals would meet the JUPITER inclusion criteria. A more in-depth study of further implications, including cost-analysis, will be critical in future decision-making processes about preventive measures for the population as a whole. All of this will need to be carefully considered in the context of available resources and the most effective ways to make the most positive impact possible in reducing heart disease and stroke."

Spatz, who was not involved in the JUPITER trial, said her analysis does highlight an important challenge for healthcare providers and systems: Even under current treatment guideline
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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