Statin therapy underutilized

Millions more Americans should be taking cholesterol-lowering statins than physicians previously believed.

The JUPITER study, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, showed that prescribing a statin for patients with a normal cholesterol, but an elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), which detects inflammation, could cut in half the risk for heart attack, stroke, and death.

The study might lead to changes in the guidelines for statin therapy.  Whether or not the study will lead to the more widespread use of CRP testing is also uncertain.