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Trial of niacin alongside statin is stopped early

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 31 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3400
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The US National Institutes of Health has stopped a clinical trial studying a combination of niacin (nicotinic acid) and a statin 18 months earlier than planned because of poor results.

The AIM-HIGH trial found that adding high dose, extended release niacin to a statin in patients with heart and vascular disease did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. In fact there was a small and unexplained increase in ischaemic stroke rates among those receiving the combination treatment.

The randomised controlled trial involved 3414 patients in the United States and Canada with a history of cardiovascular disease who were already taking a statin drug to lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. The average age of the participant was 64 years and more …

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