The detection and treatment of high blood cholesterol as a means of improving cardiovascular health is receiving major attention in medical practice. Results of the Helsinki Heart Study, which examined the effects of treatment with the fibric acid gemfibrozil (Lopid) in hypercholesterolemic men, showed a reduction in coronary heart disease apparently attributable to decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and plasma triglyceride levels and/or increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. No increase in mortality or in the incidence of serious side effects occurred with treatment. Although fibric acid therapy remains controversial, its use in selected patients appears to be justified.
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