Heart Beat: Statins may need a boost in blacks

Heart Beat

Statins may need a boost in blacks

Cholesterol-lowering statins generally do a good job of knocking down levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. As with any drug, though, individual responses range from superb to subpar. They depend on how faithfully a person takes the drug, how well it is absorbed, and how the body handles it. Genes certainly affect the end result. A study suggests that race may, too.

Researchers looked at changes in cholesterol levels in more than 16,000 members of a Midwestern HMO who were newly diagnosed with high cholesterol and who were prescribed a statin for getting it under control. The statins include lovastatin (Mevacor, generic), pravastatin (Pravachol, generic), simvastatin (Zocor, generic), atorvastatin (Lipitor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor).

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