Treatment Lowers Plaque Buildup in Arteries - Reverses Heart Disease and
Unclogs Arteries - Statin Drugs Breakthrough Study
A breakthrough in the fight against plaque buildup in the coronary
arteries was announced today at the American College of Cardiology's
55th Annual Scientific Session. The drug rosuvastatin (brand name
Crestor) is known to prevent the progression of coronary
arteriosclerosis, but this is the first time that it has been shown to
actually reduce it.
The study known as ASTEROID, was conducted in the United States, Canada,
Europe, and Australia, and involved 507 patients with atherosclerosis.
The subjects were given four times the normal dosage of 10mg Crestor.
The coronary arteries were measured with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS),
a technique in which a tiny ultrasound probe is inserted into the
coronary arteries to measure plaque.
The measurements were taken before the patients underwent the intensive
regimen of Creston and after 24 months of treatment. The results were
“unprecedented”, according to the researchers.
The bad cholesterol (LDL) was lowered and the good cholesterol (HDL) was
raised. The researchers said, “The mean baseline LDL cholesterol of
130.4 mg/dL dropped to 60.8 mg/dL in the study patients, a reduction of
53.2 percent. This is the largest reduction in cholesterol ever observed
in a major statin outcome trial. Mean HDL cholesterol (43.1 mg/dL at
baseline) increased to 49.0 mg/dL, a 14.7 percent increase.”
The IVUS provides a precise and reproducible method for determining the
change in plaque, or atheroma, burden during treatment. The arterial
plaque overall was reduced by 6.8 to 9.1% for the various measures of
disease burden, according to the researchers.
Some question the studies validity and hope to see a double blind
placebo study in the future. But many doctors say the results are
encouraging, since 13 million Americans suffer from arteriosclerosis.
This is a condition where coronary arteries harden and narrow, less
blood moves through them and the flow to the heart is reduced.
This has been the top health news story on all of the TV network news
programs including ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN. It's too early to say whether
the intensive Crestor treatment will mean fewer heart attacks, but
doctors say they're excited by that possibility. The researchers
believe other Statin drugs will have the same effect.
By Dan Wilson
Cholesterol Books at Amazon
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