Study title and authors:
Efficacy of gemfibrozil in dyslipidaemic subjects with suspected heart disease. An ancillary study in the Helsinki Heart Study frame population.
Frick MH, Heinonen OP, Huttunen JK, Koskinen P, Mänttäri M, Manninen V.
First Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8435186
The study examined the effects of gemfibrozil (a cholesterol lowering drug) on death rates in male patients who had symptoms and signs of possible coronary heart disease. The study included 626 patients, average age 49, who were followed for five years.
The men were given either:
(i) 600 mg gemfibrozil twice daily.
The study found:
(a) The men taking gemfibrozil lowered their cholesterol levels by 8.5%.
(b) The men taking gemfibrozil had 61% more deaths than the men taking a placebo.
(c) The men taking gemfibrozil had 117% more cardiac deaths than the men taking a placebo.
The results of the study show that taking the cholesterol lowering drug gemfibrozil results in lower cholesterol levels and higher cardiac death rates and higher total death rates.