Harvard Heart Letter

Trial clouds use of niacin with a statin

A large clinical trial dubbed AIM-HIGH was designed to gauge whether adding a prescription form of niacin (Niaspan) to a cholesterol-lowering statin makes sense for people with low HDL. When the trial's safety panel analyzed preliminary results, niacin didn't offer any additional benefit. A small and highly unexpected difference in the rate of ischemic (clot-caused) stroke — 1.6% in the niacin group versus 0.7% in the statin-only group — contributed to the panel's decision to halt AIM-HIGH early.
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