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Studies addressing medications and heart attack

Recent studies have confirmed that taking statins (i.e., cholesterol-lowering medications such as Lipitor) can signficantly reduce the risk of heart attack, even among patients who do not have elevated cholesterol.  Among patients with high levels of a protein called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), which indicates the presence of inflammation in the body, taking statins can reduce the risk of heart attack by more than on-half, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.    They were equally unlikely to suffer a stroke or require bypass or angioplasty, and were 20 percent less likely to die during the 5-year study.  The study looked at 18,000 people world-wide, including men over 50 and women over 60, and included caucasians, blacks and hispanics.    Experts are currently discussing whether the improvement associated with the medications relates to reducing inflammation which might cause plaque to rupture, or further reductions in so-called "bad" cholesterol.

Another huge study which looked at vitamins C and E found that they had no positive effect on coronary artery disease, and in fact may increase risks relating to bleeding strokes.

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