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Benefits & risks of statin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Asian Indians - a population with the highest risk of premature coronary artery disease & diabetes



Benefits & risks of statin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Asian Indians - a population with the highest risk of premature coronary artery disease & diabetes



Indian Journal of Medical Research 138(4): 461-491



Several reviews and meta-analyses have demonstrated the incontrovertible benefits of statin therapy in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). But the role for statins in primary prevention remained unclear. The updated 2013 Cochrane review has put to rest all lingering doubts about the overwhelming benefits of long-term statin therapy in primary prevention by conclusively demonstrating highly significant reductions in all-cause mortality, major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and the need for coronary artery revascularization procedures (CARPs). More importantly, these benefits of statin therapy are similar at all levels of CVD risk, including subjects at low (<1% per year) risk of a MACE. In addition to preventing myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and death, primary prevention with statins is also highly effective in delaying and avoiding expensive CARPs such as angioplasties, stents, and bypass surgeries. There is no evidence of any serious harm or threat to life caused by statin therapy, though several adverse effects that affect the quality of life, especially diabetes mellitus (DM) have been reported. Asian Indians have the highest risk of premature coronary artery disease (CAD) and diabetes. When compared with Whites, Asian Indians have double the risk of CAD and triple the risk of DM, when adjusted for traditional risk factors for these diseases. Available evidence supports the use of statin therapy for primary prevention in Asian Indians at a younger age and with lower targets for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and non-high density lipoprotein (non-HDL-C), than those currently recommended for Americans and Europeans. Early and aggressive statin therapy offers the greatest potential for reducing the continuing epidemic of CAD among Indians.

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Accession: 051773168

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PMID: 24434254


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