Work published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that statin drugs, which are typically used for reducing cholesterol levels, could have a beneficial effect in people who do not have high cholesterol levels. The researchers gave a statin compound called rosuvastatin (commercially sold as Crestor) to people who tested high for a biological marker known as C-Reactive Protein, a sign of inflammation. "In this trial of apparently healthy persons without hyperlipidemia but with elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels, rosuvastatin significantly reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events," the researchers wrote.
But does it make sense to give these drugs as a form of preventative medicine to people who do not have high cholesterol levels? Do the potential benefits offset the risks of other conditions, and the cost of the medication? We'll talk with one of the leaders of the JUPITER Crestor study, and with an MD who wrote an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine urging caution.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer