'The drug that could reverse heart disease'12 years, 10 months ago
Posted on Mar 29, 2006, 9 a.m.
By Bill Freeman
A statin (rosuvastatin) could reverse the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries that can trigger coronary heart disease, reported seven newspapers . The newspapers accurately reported on an uncontrolled trial which showed promising results. Further research is needed to assess whether the treatment actually saves lives and reduces heart attacks.
Rosuvastatin (Crestor), a cholesterol lowering drug, could reverse the build up of fatty deposits inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) that lead to heart attacks, strokes and coronary heart disease reported seven newspapers, 14 March 2006 (1-7).
The newspaper articles were based on the findings of the ASTEROID study, which assessed the build up of atherosclerosis in 349 patients with moderate heart disease before and after 24 months of treatment with a higher than normal dose of the drug rosuvastatin (8). Treatment with the statin significantly reduced the total build up of fatty deposits, decreased low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (LDL-C) and increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (HDL-C) over the 24 month treatment period.
The newspapers all reported the findings of the study broadly accurately, and six (1-6) highlighted the fact that further research is needed to assess whether the observed reduction in atheroscelerosis translates into a clinically meaningful reduction in mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease.