LONDON, Sept 20 — A broad medical analysis published on Tuesday questioned headline-making assertions that statins prevent dangerous blood clots.
The study, published in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine, does not look into statins’ well-researched ability to lower harmful cholesterol, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease.
In 2009, a trial called JUPITER found that so-called rosuvastatin — marketed as Crestor — halved the risk of blood clots among apparently healthy adults, a finding that boosted suggestions the drug should be taken preventively.
But the figures to support this finding were relatively small.
The 2009 study randomly assigned 17,800 people to take Crestor or dummy pills.
After two years of follow-up, 34 in the statin group and 60 in the placebo group developed a venous thrombo-embolism, a clot which can form in the legs and travel to the lungs.
Seeking a wider view, University of Oxford researcher Kazem Rahimi and colleagues looked at 29 published and unpublished trials involving over 100,000 people.
Venous thrombosis occurred in 0.9 per cent of people taking statins and in 1.0 per cent of people who were not taking the drugs.
There was no difference between those who took higher or lower doses of statins
“We were unable to confirm the large proportional reduction in (clot) risk,” says the new probe.
It adds, though, “a more modest but perhaps clinically worthwhile” effect cannot be ruled out. — AFP-Relaxnews