Harvard Health Letter

New thinking on niacin use

There is new thinking on the use of niacin to treat people with low HDL. Doctors used to prescribe niacin in addition to a statin as a way to boost low HDL, even when LDL levels are under control. The theory has been that raising HDL could ward off heart attack and stroke. But mounting evidence has shown that raising HDL by taking niacin does not protect patients from cardiovascular events. However, niacin is still considered useful as an add-on therapy in people whose LDL is not lowered enough by statins alone. 
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