Science's first glimpse of the mighty power of the Statins !

The wonderfully named Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (SSSS) was started in 1987 and was a prospective, randomized, multicenter trial including 4444 patients (don't ask) with ischaemic heart disease, either being diagnosed with Angina pectoris or post myocardial infarction. The aim of the study was to prove that statins were beneficial in patients with ihd and, when taking regularly, reducing their LDL and Cholesterol, henceforth prolonging their life.

Half of the patients were given 20-40mg Simvastatin daily, the other half received a placebo and were followed up for ca 5 years.

The results were astonishing: The relative risk of coronary mortality was reduced by 40%, overall mortality was reduced by 30%. Patients most benefitting were those below 60 or diabetics.

This study paved the way for primary and secondary prevention in cardiology, and today millions of adults are on cholesterol - lowering agents, significantly reducing the international bill for looking after people with vascular events.

Pedersen, TR: Coronary artery disease: the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study experience. Am J Cardiol. 1998 Nov 26;82(10B):53T-56

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