American College of Cardiology annual meeting: Treating to new targets

American College of Cardiology annual meeting, March 6–9, Orlando

Treating to new targets

What's good for people recovering from a heart attack seems to be just as good for those with stable heart disease.

The Treating to New Targets (TNT) trial compared the impact of low and high doses of the same statin, Lipitor (atorvastatin), on 10,001 people with stable heart disease. This large category includes heart attack survivors, those with chest pain (angina) from cholesterol-clogged arteries, and those who had bypass surgery or artery-opening angioplasty. The volunteers who took 10 milligrams (mg) of Lipitor a day achieved a respectably low average LDL level of 101. The volunteers taking 80 mg a day got their average LDL down to 77.

After five years of therapy, there were fewer deaths from heart disease or stroke, as well as fewer nonfatal heart attacks and strokes, in the high-dose group. Reports of muscle pain — a known side effect of statins — were similar in the two groups. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine at the same time they were reported at the American College of Cardiology meeting.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »