November 12, 2008

Crestor Shows Wider Heart Benefit

A U.S. study suggests the cholesterol drug rosuvastatin reduced heart attacks and strokes in patients with elevated C-reactive protein levels.

The lipid-lowering statin, marketed as Crestor, reduced heart attacks by 54 percent in people who had normal cholesterol but elevated levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein, researchers said Sunday at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

The report was also published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Compared to those who received placebo, patients receiving the drug rosuvastatin also had a 48 percent reduction in stroke, a 46 percent reduction in the need for interventions to reopen blocked blood vessels and a 20 percent drop in all-cause mortality," Dr. Paul M. Ridker, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in a statement.

The American Heart Association said it was unclear if the drug's benefit resulted from cholesterol levels or reduced inflammation marked by high sensitivity C-reactive protein levels.