Conference Highlights: American Heart Association’s 2010 Scientific Sessions

The American Heart Association held its 2010 Scientific Sessions from November 13 to 17 in Chicago. The features below highlight some of the news emerging from the meeting. » Benefits Observed With Experimental Cholesterol Drug » A New Approach for Difficult Hypertension Cases » PTSD Linked to Death, Atherosclerosis » Smoking Rates Decline, But Cessation Efforts Still Warranted » Scanning Matters When Managing Diabetics With Heart Disease » Combination Therapy Effective in Heart Failure Benefits Observed With Experimental Cholesterol Drug The Particulars:  Elevated LDL and low HDL cholesterol levels are risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Statins have been shown to reduce LDL and lessen CVD risk. Despite statin therapy, many patients still have a high risk of CVD. Anacetrapib is an experimental cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor. It is intended to block the ability of the CETP enzyme to transfer cholesterol particles from HDL to LDL cholesterol. Data Breakdown: The DEFINE study (Determining the Efficacy and Tolerability of CETP Inhibition with Anacetrapib) was a randomized, double-blind trial of 1,623 patients who took either 100 mg anacetrapib or a placebo for 18 months. Patients were already being treated with a statin and/or other lipid-lowering medicine. Anacetrapib reduced LDL by 40%—from 81 mg/dL to 49 mg/dL. It also more than doubled the level of HDL cholesterol—from 40 mg/dL to 101 mg/dL—without raising blood pressure. Take Home Pearls: Anacetrapib appears to more than double the level of HDL cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol without the blood pressure increase that has been linked to other CETP inhibitors. The full efficacy and safety of anacetrapib must be evaluated in a larger, phase...