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Atherosclerosis Research Essay

2533 words - 10 pages

Atherosclerosis, a disease that hardens and thickens arterial walls, consists of multiple components such as the following: fat components, cholesterol, and cellular waste products. These components produce a build up in the lining of the arteries.1 Smoking and medical conditions such as elevated triglycerides, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure can cause atherosclerosis.1 As a result of the collection of these components, arteries accumulate plaque, which consists of fatty deposits inside the smooth muscle of the arteries.1 Medication can improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, which benefits arteries, and medication can decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, triglyceride (TG) levels, and total cholesterol (TC) levels, which also benefits arteries. Medications that can benefit arteries consist of the following: rosuvastatin (Crestor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and fluvastatin (Lescol). The medications, composed of statins that reduce LDL levels, TG levels, and TC levels, also increase HDL levels. Statins, composed of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl co-enzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, convert to mevalonic acid and become the rate limiting step in the hepatic synthesis of cholesterol.2,3 To decrease LDL and TG levels from the blood, the hepatic synthesis increases the number of LDL receptors located in the liver.2Although each medication has been proven effective when increasing HDL levels and reducing LDL, TG, and TC levels in the body, studies have demonstrated that simvastatin, fluvastatin, and pravastatin do not possess high enough efficacy rates when treating these contributors.4-11 Barrios et al,4 Tavridou et al,5 van Tits et al,6 and Jacobson et al7 focused on the efficacy of simvastatin. After reviewing the statistics presented at the end of each article, the medication did not possess the ability to be the most efficacious treatment due to a lack of change in the TC, TG, LDL, and HDL levels.4-7 Hjelstuen et al,8 van der Graff et al,9 and Mirdamadi et al10 focused on the efficacy that fluvastatin has on atherosclerosis. At the conclusion of the studies, fluvastatin demonstrated similar results to that of simvastatin, which prevents fluvastatin from being the most efficacious medication to ingest when treating atherosclerosis.8-10 The medication known as pravachol, studied under Nissen et al,11 demonstrated the lowest efficacy when treating atherosclerosis. The 2 medications, rosuvastatin and atorvastatin, however, have been proven to effectively increase HDL levels and reduce LDL, TG, and TC levels when treating atherosclerosis.6,12-19 After reviewing research journals, atorvastatin demonstrates a 10.4% more effectiveness in overall treatment of contributors and fewer side-effects than rosuvastatin.6,12-15

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