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

sing those data, Spatz and her co-authors estimate that another 13.9 percent (8 million) of the older population would be candidates for statin therapy under the strictest JUPITER trial criteria -- hsCRP at or above 2 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) under 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), Spatz said.

She estimated that another 3 million people, or 5.3 percent of the older population, would qualify for statins under an expanded, but still plausible, treatment criteria of hsCRP at or above 2 mg/L and LDL cholesterol between 130 and 160 mg/dL.

Overall, the people who may now qualify for a statin based on JUPITER's findings share many characteristics with those who already qualify for a statin medication. The two groups were similar in age, race and socioeconomic status and had equal degrees of high blood pressure and abdominal obesity, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. Compared to people who have no indication for a statin medication, the JUPITER group was distinguishable in that they were more likely to be female and older, and to have obesity, high blood pressure and the metabolic syndrome.

"This further suggests we may be missing a group of people who in addition to having an elevated hsCRP, have other features that put them at risk for heart disease, and for whom a statin medication may be beneficial," Spatz said.

Spatz hopes her study will help provide important information for the development of future guidelines about using statin medications to reduce cardiovascular disease by providing some of the information necessary to determine whether the number of people who would get statin therapy under JUPITER criteria would be cost-effective from a public health standpoint.

Co-authors are: Maureen E. Canavan, M.P.H. and Mayur M. Desai, Ph.D., M.P.H. Individual author disclosures are available on the manuscript.

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SOURCE American Heart Association
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