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Early treatment with fluvastatin (Novartis’ Lescol), currently the least expensive statin, significantly reduces the risk of cardiac events in patients with hypercholesterolemia and coronary heart disease, according to new findings from the Lescol in Severe Atherosclerosis (LISA) study (Atherosclerosis 1999; 144:263-270).
A multicenter European team examined the effects of fluvastatin, 40 mg once or twice daily, in a one-year, placebo-controlled randomized study of 365 subjects with stable, symptomatic coronary heart disease. Study subjects had LDL cholesterol levels above 160 mg/dL and triglyceride levels of 300 mg/dL or less after four weeks on a cholesterol-lowering diet. The researchers report that fluvastatin significantly reduced the rate of cardiac events, including death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and unstable angina among patients in the treated group. Ten events occurred in the control group during the study, compared to only three events in patients who were given fluvastatin. The investigators wrote that fluvastatin was safe and well-tolerated by study patients.