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Back To Vidyya Additional Information About Long-Term Benefits Of Pravastatin Therapy Gleaned From Follow Up Of A Landmark Lipid Trial

Study Results Demonstrate That Long-Term Therapy With Pravastatin Reduces Coronary Heart Disease Deaths Among Women By 31%

The results of a follow-up analysis of the landmark Long-Term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischaemic Disease (LIPID) study provide important new evidence regarding the benefits of cholesterol-lowering treatment with pravastatin for women with a prior history of coronary heart disease.

The study, titled "Long-Term Treatment With Pravastatin Reduces Coronary Heart Disease Mortality in Women With Prior Coronary Heart Disease and Average Cholesterol Levels," demonstrates that women with a prior history of coronary heart disease and average cholesterol levels who were placed on pravastatin had a significant 31% reduction in coronary heart disease (CHD) deaths when compared to the women in the study who were initially assigned to placebo. In absolute terms, CHD deaths were reduced from 9.9% in those on placebo to 6.7% for those given pravastatin. The results of the study were presented today at the 50th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) being held in Orlando.

"On a world-wide basis, heart attacks are responsible for killing millions of women," said Professor Andrew Tonkin, Director, Health/Medical and Scientific Affairs, National Heart Foundation and LIPID study investigator. "The results of the LIPID follow-up study provide strong evidence regarding the benefits and safety of pravastatin therapy for women with established heart disease. This is good news for women who want to take preventive measures to avoid further adverse events from heart disease."

The LIPID study was originally designed as a 6-year, double blind placebo controlled study, consisting of 9,014 male and female patients who had either suffered a heart attack or had a history of unstable angina (severe chest pains). Half of these patients were placed on pravastatin, and half received placebo. At the conclusion of the trial, investigators conducted an additional two-year follow up analysis of patients from the original study.

In the follow-up study, 85 percent of patients in each of the original groups were placed on pravastatin therapy. During this two-year follow up period, investigators determined that in addition to reductions in coronary heart disease deaths, women who had been assigned initial pravastatin also had a significant 29 percent reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease.

With more than 9,000 people enrolled in 87 centers throughout Australia and New Zealand, LIPID is the most comprehensive database on the effects of a statin in women with coronary heart disease. LIPID was conducted under the auspices of the National Heart Foundation of Australia and coordinated by the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney.

"This study shows that over a period of more than eight years, women who took long-term pravastatin clearly benefited with 32 deaths from coronary heart disease prevented for every 1000 women treated," said Professor John Simes, LIPID investigator and director of the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney. "Since heart disease is so prevalent in women as they get older, it is important that women as well as men, do as much as they can to prevent cardiovascular events. This is now clear evidence that taking pravastatin for an extended period can help women with existing heart disease safely reduce their risk of dying from coronary events."

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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