Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Professor and Colleagues from FAU, SUNY Downstate and Harvard Publish Need for Wider Utilization of Statins in Prevention and Treatment of Heart Attacks and Strokes
BOCA RATON, Fla. (August 26, 2013) — Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H., the first Sir Richard Doll Professor and senior academic advisor to the dean in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, recently published a commentary in the American Journal of Medicine, about the benefits of statins in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes in subjects previously thought at too low a risk to be treated. Hennekens' colleagues include Nicolas Breuer, M.D., affiliate assistant professor, Ira J. Gelb, M.D., emeritus professor of cardiology and senior advisor to the dean for prebaccalauerate programs and David J. Bjorkman M.D., M.S.P.H., dean and executive director of medical affairs in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, and Jeffrey S. Borer, M.D., professor and chair of medicine at State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center and Marc A. Pfeffer, M.D., Ph.D., Dzau professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Hennekens and colleagues present new clinical and public health challenges with respect to the use of statins in primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes in apparently healthy subjects at low risk. Hennekens states that the evidence suggests that the more widespread and appropriate utilization of statins, as adjuncts, not alternatives to therapeutic lifestyle changes will yield net benefits in low risk , primary prevention patients, including those unwilling or unable to adopt therapeutic lifestyle changes.
Hennekens and colleagues conclude that "the available data suggest that there is no threshold for low density lipoprotein cholesterol below which there are no net benefits of statins. Therefore, there are new and emerging clinical challenges to healthcare providers suggesting the need for wider utilization of statins in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes."
Science Watch ranked Hennekens as the third most widely cited medical researcher in the world from 1995-2005, and five of the top 20 were his former trainees and/or fellows. In addition, in 2012 Science Heroes, ranked Hennekens no. 81 in the history of the world for having saved more than 1.1 million lives.
-FAU-Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.