Benefits of Lowering Cholesterol After Heart Attack

Published Online: Tuesday, October 1, 2002

In a recent study, people randomized to receive intensive cholesterol-lowering therapy during the 4 months after a heart attack or other coronary event had an approximately 50% lower risk of stroke than those not given this therapy, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association (September 3, 2002). During the 4-month follow-up, 36 of the 3086 subjects had a stroke; 12 had taken the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin and 24 had not taken the drug. ?An estimated 1 million to 2 million people a year suffer from acute coronary syndromes in the United States alone. So if these results are confirmed in future studies, an absolute reduction of stroke of this order means that many strokes would be prevented,? said lead author David D. Waters, MD, professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

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