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Niacin prevents cardiovascular disease events

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By Jimmy Downs

Saturday March 9, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- A review published recently in Journal of American College of Cardiology suggests that niacin reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and major coronary heart disease events.

Dr. Richard H. Karas at Molecular Cardiology Research Center, Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts and colleagues meta-analyzed trial data and found niacin use was associated with 34 percent reduced risk for any cardiovascular disease event and 25 percent reduced risk for major coronary heart disease event.
Not all trials indicated that niacin is effective as an adjunct to intensive statin therapy to reduce CVD events, according to the reviewers.  For instance, AIM-HIGH did not show a reduction in cardiovascular disease event risk in patients who had diagnosed cardiovascular disease and were treated with niacin in addition to intensive simvastin therapy.

Eleven eligible trials involving 9,959 patients published in medical database MEDLINE were used for the meta-analysis.

Albeit the associations between niacin use and reduced risks for cardiovascular disease events and major coronary heart disease events, the reviewers found no significant association between niacin therapy and stroke incidence.

The authors concluded "The consensus perspective derived from available clinical data supports that niacin reduces CVD events and, further, that this may occur through a mechanism not reflected by changes in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration."

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