November 10, 2008
WomenHeart Urges Women to Talk With Doctors About New Study Showing Statins Prevent Heart Attacks, Deaths
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- WomenHeart today urged women to talk with their doctors about heart disease risk factors in light of new research demonstrating the impact of statin therapy (cholesterol-lowering drugs) on cardiovascular events in women. The study, called JUPITER, found that statin therapy prevents heart attacks, strokes and deaths in women - even those with normal cholesterol levels and no signs of heart disease.
"These new findings underscore the importance that women know their risk factors and ask their doctors what can be done to reduce them," said Lisa M. Tate, chief executive officer of WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. "Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and about 500,000 die from it every year."
Presented at the American Heart Association's annual scientific meeting, the study found substantial reductions in deaths, strokes and heart attacks among patients taking statins. The study of nearly 18,000 patients - 38 percent of whom were women - may be the first study to demonstrate that statins prevent first heart attacks in women.
The study found that rosuvastatin (a potent statin) prevented heart attacks, strokes or death in people who had normal levels of LDL - or bad cholesterol, but high levels of a marker called C-reactive protein (CRP). This protein measures inflammation in the arteries, a condition that could lead to a heart attack. Both LDL cholesterol and CRP were significantly reduced with treatment.
While these findings could help save thousands of lives, Tate urges women to proceed with caution when considering making any changes to their heart health regimen and to be as informed as possible about their choices.
WomenHeart's Scientific Advisory Council wants women to know... -- Statins are in a powerful class of drugs shown to reduce a person's risk for heart disease and stroke. -- Women known to be at risk may already be taking this medication as part of their heart health regimen. -- Like any drug, there are pros and cons to taking anything long term. It is vitally important that women, who are not currently on a statin regimen, talk with their doctor about what is right for them. -- Discuss with your doctor whether you should have your C-reactive protein (CRP) measured. -- Undoubtedly, much information will be forthcoming from many sources about the JUPITER study (http://www.crphealth.com/home/hcp/). It is important to stay with credible sources of health and medical information. Women should be cautious and consult their physicians before making any changes to their heart health regimens.
WomenHeart is the only national, patient-centered organization dedicated to advancing women's heart health through advocacy, community education and patient support. A nonprofit advocacy organization, WomenHeart is a community of women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives.
Visit WomenHeart's Web site at http://www.womenheart.org/.
CONTACT: Susan Laine of WomenHeart, +1-202-728-7199, cell:+1-301-213-6231
Web Site: http://www.crphealth.com/home/hcp