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December 7, 1994

Proof Arrives: Antilipids Save Lives

JAMA. 1994;272(21):1637. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520210021007

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SCANDINAVIAN SKEPTICS carried the day over American enthusiasm.

Results of a newly reported study may radically change the way cardiologists care for patients with coronary heart disease. In the United States, only one in four such patients is treated with lipidlowering drugs, despite an ardor for them based on what many European physicians considered flimsy evidence. The prevailing attitude across the ocean nurtured a rigorous scientific study that has produced proof of undeniable efficacy for anticholesterol agents.

At the American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting, in Dallas, Tex, Terje Pedersen, MD, head physician of the Coronary Care Unit at Aker University Hospital, Oslo, Norway, reported the long-awaited results of a study of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor simvastatin (Zocor, Merck & Co Inc, Whitehouse Station, NJ). In heart attack survivors and persons with angina, this drug reduced not only the risk of heart attack but also the risk of

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