Japanese researchers have found that those who took 1.8 gram of omega- 3 fatty acids a day -- in addition to cholesterol- lowering medications known as statins -- were almost 20 percent less likely to suffer a major coronary event
than people who took statins alone.
Patients taking Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) tablets (80 mg) who have already had a stroke reduced their chances of having an additional stroke and a major coronary event
, such as heart attack, according to results from the first major study designed to examine the benefits of lipid lowering in stroke patients.
Compared with the placebo group, patients taking atorvastatin were 16 percent less likely to suffer another stroke and 35 percent less likely to suffer a major coronary event
(non-fatal heart attack, cardiac death or resuscitation from cardiac arrest), according to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Participants treated with lovastatin had a 37 percent lower incidence of an acute major coronary event
defined as myocardial infarction, unstable angina, or sudden cardiac death t han did those treated with placebo.
Naproxen appears to bean exception as it was not associated with an excess risk of MVE, major coronary event
, or stroke.
The primary outcomes measured included first major vascular event, defined as major coronary event
(coronary death, heart attack, or coronary revascularization), fatal or nonfatal stroke, or noncoronary revascularization.
The actual presence of coronary disease in these women far exceeded their estimated risk calculated by the Framingham risk formula, the major tool used in the United States to assess a person's 10-year risk of having a major coronary event
. Because of this disparity between estimated risk and actual disease in women with a family history of coronary disease, such women "likely warrant being considered for noninvasive screening for subclinical atherosclerosis," Erin D.
"Although the cardiovascular benefits reported in the PEARL trial seem impressive, one would need to treat 492 patients for 1 year to prevent a single major coronary event
," she said.
For example, in the Veterans Affairs High-Density Lipoprotein Intervention Trial (VA-HIT), men with low levels of LDL-C and HDL-C treated with gemfibrozil (1200 mg) had a significant increase In HDL-C but no change in LDL-C, and they were at lower risk for a major coronary event
than were men treated with placebo.
And in a prospective German study, CRP was strongly associated with a first major coronary event
in 936 initially healthy middle-aged men (Circulation 1999; 99:237-42).
In a prespecified analysis of the subgroup of 5963 patients with diabetes, investigators reported a similar benefit, with treatment preventing 49 patients per 1000 from having a major coronary event
during the 5 years of follow-up.