Niacin: A powerful adjunct to other lipid-lowering drugs in reducing plaque progression and acute coronary events
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Recent clinical trial data have demonstrated the benefits of utilizing niacin therapy in the management of dyslipidemia. In the Familial Atherosclerosis Treatment Study and the HDL Atherosclerosis Treatment Study (HATS), niacin combination therapy with a statin or resin resulted in significant reduction in cardiovascular events. The angiographic benefits in the HATS trial appear to be related to the change in large, high-density lipoprotein particle concentration, which is a prominent effect of niacin treatment. Recent evaluation in diabetic populations also has demonstrated a reduction in clinical events. Changes in hemoglobin Alc levels with niacin appear to be clinically insignificant and, therefore, the relative underutilization of niacin in diabetic patients is probably not warranted based on the most recent data.
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