Friday, September 21, 2018

Niacin hasn’t lived up to its original promise in cardiovascular prevention


Thirteen trials (N = 35,206) were selected for final analysis. The mean follow-up duration was 32.8 months. Overall, niacin led to significant increases in serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels from baseline trial enrolment by 21.4%, 9.31 (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.11-13.51) mg/dL. However, we did not observe any differences in all-cause mortality rates (RR 0.99; 95% CI 0.88-1.12) between niacin and control arms. Further, niacin treatment was associated with a trend toward lower risk of cardiovascular mortality (RR 0.91; 95% CI 0.81-1.02), coronary death (RR 0.93; 95% CI 0.78-1.10), nonfatal myocardial infarction (RR 0.85; 95% CI 0.73-1.0), revascularization (coronary and noncoronary) (RR 0.83; 95% CI 0.65-1.06), and stroke (RR 0.89; 95% CI 0.72-1.10), compared with control.


Niacin therapy does not lead to significant reductions in total or cause-specific mortality or recurrent cardiovascular events among persons with or at risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

The review also pointed out adverse effects including worsening of or increased risk of onset of diabetes.

Niacin showed promise in 15 year follow up of the coronary drug project (its use was associated with lowered all cause mortality) and is the only lipid regulating agent that has been associated with regression of atherosclerosis. [1] [2] Although the review cited an article on the 15 year follow up of the coronary drug project (CDP) the analysis of research findings only included the early report of the CDP, which did not show reduction in mortality.

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