Pfizer logoA new analysis revealed that 18 novel biomarkers including C-reactive protein (CRP) could not predict future cardiovascular events in heart disease patients who were already treated with a statin. In comparison traditional risk factors proved to be very powerful predictors of cardiovascular events.

These novel findings are based on a recent post hoc sub-analysis of patients who were medicated with Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) in the five-year Treating to New Targets (TNT) study. A pertaining study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association had earlier revealed that novel biomarkers including CRP delivered minimal additional value beyond conventional risk factors for examining cardiovascular risk.

Dr. John LaRosa, president and professor of medicine at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, and chair of the TNT steering committee explained, “For patients with stable coronary disease who were already on statin therapy, novel biomarkers do not appear to add predictive value over traditional lipid markers such as LDL cholesterol.”

He added, “Today’s analysis adds to the body of evidence that ‘traditional’ risk factors, including elevated blood cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as cigarette smoking, remain the highest priority targets for reducing cardiovascular risk. Drugs such as atorvastatin, used in this study, have demonstrated effectiveness in accomplishing this goal.”

A nested case-control analysis of the TNT trial was conducted in order to discover whether biomarkers levels or lipids after an eight-week run-in period on Lipitor 10 mg were indicative of an increased risk for future cardiovascular diseases. The TNT trial comprised of patients who were diagnosed with coronary heart disease and were treated with Lipitor. For detailed analysis, data for 507 patients with cardiovascular events such as cardiac death, heart attack, stroke or resuscitated cardiac arrest were pitted against data for 1020 patients who did not have any such heart ailments.

The recent study revealed that 18 novel biomarkers failed to indicate risk for future cardiovascular diseases in patients with stable coronary heart disease already on statin therapy. It is believed that LDL cholesterol and triglycerides higher levels and HDL cholesterol lower levels proved to be quite powerful and important indicators of risk for future events.

These findings were presented recently at the 2009 European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, Spain.