Combination niacin and statin therapy in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, USA.
Clinical Cardiology (Impact Factor: 2.59). 07/2005; 28(7):317-20. DOI: 10.1002/clc.4960280703
Source: PubMed


Statin monotherapy may not be sufficient to reach serum lipid goals in many patients, especially in those with combined lipid abnormalities. Statins cause only a modest increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL)--an established independent protective factor for coronary heart disease (CHD)--and a modest decrease in triglycerides (TG). Niacin is an effective pharmacologic agent for increasing HDL, as well as lowering TG. Used in combination with a statin, niacin provides an option to help patients attain their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goals, non-HDL goals, and HDL goals. Based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2000, only 12% of the surveyed adult population were under treatment for diagnosed hypercholesterolemia. Furthermore, only 5.4% of the surveyed population had attained goal total cholesterol levels of < 5.2 mmol/I (< 200 mg/dl). Combination therapy offers a means to get more people to goal. This paper reviews the impact of lipid-modifying combination therapy with niacin plus a statin on lipid profile outcomes.

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