A Cholesterol Revolution
D o c t o r s a r e r e t h i n k i n g h o w c h o l e s t e r o l a f f e c t s y o u r h e a r t .
healthy yoiK
eart doctors
arc a pretty
bunch. So it
was not a
I — small thing
when there was an abnormally loud
buzz in the air during the annual
convention of the American College
of Cardiology earlier this year.
“I can’t remember so many new
developments of such practical and
immediate value for people with
cardiovascular conditions, or for
those at risk for getting them,”
says Dr. Michael Weber, him self a
co-author of one of the ground-
breaking presentations. “It’s going
to change the way we practice
One discovery was that the
popular cholesterol-lowering drug
Vytorin does nothing to prevent the
clogged arteries that can lead to
heart attacks. The curious part is that
Vytorin—a combination of the tried-
and-true statin Zocor and the new
post-statin drug Zetia—actually did
lower levels of harmful LDL choles-
terol in the study subjects more than
the statin alone could. But it did not
lower heart attack risk, which is the
point of it all.
It gets even odder. Literally hours
after Vytorin officially fell out of
favor, two different investigations
showed that a good old-fashioned
statin called Crestor had a remarkable
ability to lower bad LDL, to keep
arterial walls from thickening, and
to prevent heart attacks, stroke, and
sudden death. So.
.. one drug out
(Vytorin) and one drug in (Crestor).
A simple wash? Most cardiologists
think the news is much more
complex, and much more useful,
than simply that.
2 6 0 bhP IEMBER
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