Statins in the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease

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Although epidemiologic studies proved that a causal relationship exists between elevated serum cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease, it is only recently that cholesterol-lowering strategies have shown significant reductions in total mortality. In the last few years, three landmark coronary artery disease-reduction trials with HMG-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) showed significant reductions in coronary heart disease and mortality. Statins have beneficial effects on coronary heart disease and overall mortality in primary and secondary prevention, including in women and the elderly. Angiographic studies reveal the potential mechanisms through which statins exert their clinical benefits.

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