Statin Therapy Needed Indefinitely for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Manila Bulletin, June 24, 2003 | Go to article overview

Statin Therapy Needed Indefinitely for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention


Cardiovascular disease or CVD is a life-long disease and requires a lifelong treatment.

Such is the advice of heart experts as they discussed the role of the statin class of drugs in the treatment of cholesterol problems and other high-risk conditions which make patients prone to heart attacks and strokes, in this year?s annual convention of the Philippine College of Physicians.

The statins are now popularly prescribed to prevent cardiovascular problems. They work directly in the liver to block a substance needed to manufacture cholesterol. They also help the body remove cholesterol from arterial deposits, slowly unplugging blood vessels.

Dr. Esperanza Cabral, past president of the Philippine Heart Association and current president of the Philippine Society of Hypertension explained that the atherosclerotic process, which clog arteries, can be retarded but not actually cured or reversed effectively. Atherosclerosis is a continuous, progressive and long-lasting process. In most cases, it is what we may call an incurable condition, but it can be helped, she added.

Since atherosclerosis is a life-long disease, it also requires life-long compliance to treatment.

Dr. Cabral said that physicians should advise their patients to take cholesterol lowering drugs for an indefinite period of time. The cholesterol levels of those taking statins go down with treatment but after statin treatment is discontinued, the cholesterol levels go up again.

?You can bring the blood pressure down but in most instances, when you stop giving the patient anti-hypertensive agents, the blood pressure will go right back up again. The same is true with bad cholesterol levels and triglycerides,? she said.

The other members of the expert panel were Dr. Gregorio Patacsil, Jr. and Dr. Rafael Castillo, who were also past presidents of the Philippine Heart Association. They also discussed the multiple clinical benefits which can be derived from statin therapy.

?These are benefits not necessarily associated with the statin? …

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Statin Therapy Needed Indefinitely for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
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