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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2002 Jan;4(1):42-7.

Statins and inflammatory markers.

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  • 1Baylor College of Medicine, 6565 Fannin, M.S. A-601, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Inflammation is involved in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis and the development of atherosclerotic events. Understanding of the molecular basis of inflammation has led to the identification of markers that may be important new targets in atherothrombotic disease. Inflammatory markers, such as cell adhesion molecules, cytokines, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, have been shown to predict future cardiovascular events in individuals with and without established disease. 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitors, or statins, inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol and have been demonstrated to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Recently, statins have been shown to modulate several of the mechanisms of inflammation in atherosclerosis in vitro and in vivo, including reduction of inflammatory markers in clinical trials. In this article, we briefly review the biology, epidemiology, and clinical trial data on the effects of statins on some of the more promising inflammatory markers.

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