Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Assessing Benefits Of Reducing Cholesterol Levels Lower Than Current Recommendations

Date:
October 1, 1998
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
How low should you go? University of Florida researchers aim to assess whether dramatically reducing LDL cholesterol levels can further cut the chance of death or heart attack in heart disease patients.

GAINESVILLE, Fla.---University of Florida cardiologists at the Shands Cardiovascular Center at UF are part of a multinational effort to gauge the effect of aggressively lowering the body's "bad" cholesterol levels below current medical guidelines in heart disease patients.

Related Articles


The new study, known as Treating to New Targets (TNT), is designed to resolve an important issue in the science of cholesterol lowering: How low should you go? Researchers aim to assess whether dramatically reducing LDL cholesterol levels can further cut the chance of death or heart attack in these patients.

Cardiologists have long warned that too much LDL cholesterol is bad for the body, in part because it contributes to atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries. Cardiovascular disease due to atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and Europe.

"We are seeing an increase in the prevalence of coronary artery disease,and the expectations are as our baby boomer population reaches middle ageafter the turn of the century the prevalence of coronary artery diseasewill double compared to 1985 numbers," said Dr. Carl J. Pepine, chief ofcardiovascular medicine at UF's College of Medicine. "Thus the results of this study could have extremely important implications for this segment of our population."

The five-year trial will involve about 8,600 patients at approximately 250sites in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia,making it one of the largest cardiovascular outcomes trials ever conducted with a cholesterol-lowering medication.

Patients will be treated at the Shands Cardiovascular Center at UF with the drug Lipitor, known generically as atorvastatin calcium. Lipitor's effect on cardiovascular disease and death is not known.

In general, the benefits of the class of drugs known as statins " has proven to be greater than our expectations," Pepine said. "It's turned out these drugs not only prevent death, but they also prevent myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, angina, the need for revascularization, and hospitalizations for unstable angina or heart failure, and they reduce the need for angiography," he said.

Current recommendations state an LDL cholesterol level of less than 130 isbest, while 130 to 159 is borderline high, and 160 or more puts people at increased risk for heart disease. A total cholesterol level of less than 200 is best. The study aims to determine whether patients benefit more when their LDL level is reduced to about 75 mg/dL versus 100 mg/dL.

Preliminary research suggests that lowering LDL cholesterol beyond currentclinical practice can yield even greater cardiovascular benefits, Pepine said. In other clinical studies, Lipitor reduced LDL cholesterol 39 to 60 percent in patients with elevated cholesterol who took it in dosages ranging from 10 to 80 milligrams. Possible side effects includeconstipation, flatulence, indigestion and abdominal pain.

Large epidemiologic studies have linked low cholesterol levels to reducedrisk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Regional guidelines fortreating high cholesterol were developed based on these studies. In the United States, the National Cholesterol Education Program released an update in 1993 of its original 1988 guidelines, recommending a target LDL cholesterol of 100 mg/dL or less for patients with established coronary heart disease.

The trial is sponsored by Parke-Davis, a division of Warner-Lambert Co., and Pfizer Inc. Lipitor was discovered and developed by Parke-Davis and is marketed globally in collaboration with Pfizer.

Related research will investigate the clinical benefit of LDL cholesterolreduction in patients with acute unstable angina, patients referred forrevascularization procedures and those with type II diabetes.

Lipitor is approved for marketing in 35 countries and is indicated as an adjunct to diet and lifestyle changes for reducing elevated total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein B and triglycerides in patients with high cholesterol whose response to dietary changes is inadequate.

Pepine is collaborating with UF cardiologist Dr. C. Richard Conti, EileenHandberg-Thurmond, director of UF's cardiology clinical trials program,and cardiology fellow Dr. Steve Monroe.

----------------------------------------

Recent UF Health Science Center news releases also are available on the UFHealth Science Center Office of Public Information home page. Point yourbrowser to http://www.vpha.health.ufl.edu/hscc/index.html

For the UF Health Science Center topic/expert list, point your browser tohttp://www.health.ufl.edu/hscc/experts.html

More information about Shands HealthCare is available athttp://www.shands.com


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "Assessing Benefits Of Reducing Cholesterol Levels Lower Than Current Recommendations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980930090516.htm>.
University of Florida. (1998, October 1). Assessing Benefits Of Reducing Cholesterol Levels Lower Than Current Recommendations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980930090516.htm
University of Florida. "Assessing Benefits Of Reducing Cholesterol Levels Lower Than Current Recommendations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980930090516.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins