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NEW REPORT SHOWS UP TO 71 PERCENT REDUCTION IN CORONARY HEART DISEASE RISK WITH GEMFIBROZIL

 NEW REPORT SHOWS UP TO 71 PERCENT REDUCTION
 IN CORONARY HEART DISEASE RISK WITH GEMFIBROZIL
 NEW YORK, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A 71 percent reduction in the incidence of heart attacks and sudden cardiac death in patients treated with the lipid-regulating agent gemfibrozil (Lopid), was reported in the current issue of Circulation, an official publication of the American Heart Association.
 This new subgroup analysis shows that men with a high ratio of LDL/HDL(A) (greater than five) and elevated serum triglyceride levels (greater than 200 mg/dl) are at a high coronary heart disease (CHD) risk and have the greatest benefit from treatment with gemfibrozil of the subgroups analyzed in the report.
 These findings from the landmark Helsinki Heart Study, reported by Vesa Manninen et al, show the triad of high LDL, low HDL and high triglycerides can identify patients at risk. This new data builds upon previous Helsinki Heart Study findings showing gemfibrozil therapy to result in a 62 percent reduction in CHD risk in men with low HDL (less than 35 mg/dl), median baseline LDL of 186 mg/dl and an overall 34 percent reduction in CHD risk.
 "The Helsinki Heart study was the first long-term intervention study to show that HDL may be an important risk factor in coronary heart disease," said M. Heikki Frick, M.D., Helsinki University Hospital. "This new data illustrates the important predictive value of triglycerides with LDL and HDL cholesterols to identifying coronary risk."
 "These findings are consistent with information from the Framingham Heart Study which shows that patients with high triglycerides, low HDL and above average LDL produce twice as many heart attacks as patients with any other lipid syndrome," said William P. Castelli, medical director of the Framingham Heart Study.
 "While the Helsinki Heart Study evaluated men only, Framingham data shows that this syndrome is also very prevalent among women."
 Predictors of CHD Risk in Helsinki
 In the study population (men 40-55 years of age with non-HDL cholesterol greater than 200 mg/dl), the combination of both low levels of HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels greater than 200 mg/dl were identified as better indicators of increased CHD risk than either total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol alone.
 While other demographic studies, such as the Framingham Heart Study, have indicated that total and LDL cholesterol are important risk factors for coronary heart disease, in this specific subset of patients total cholesterol was only predictive of CHD risk when combined with elevated triglyceride concentrations. Similarly, elevated LDL was only a prognostic factor for CHD when evaluated in conjunction with triglyceride values.
 "The study findings suggest that information is lost if physicians rely solely on LDL and total cholesterol levels to determine CHD risk, rather than evaluating the relationship between lipid fractions," said W. Virgil Brown, M.D., president of the American Heart Association. "By evaluating triglyceride levels in combination with the LDL/HDL ratio, it's possible to identify patients at potentially high CHD risk who may receive dramatic benefits from long-term gemfibrozil treatment."
 Coronary heart disease risk was particularly high in subjects with elevated triglycerides and low HDL, and greatest in subjects with high triglycerides and a ratio of LDL/HDL greater than five. This group, approximately 10 percent of the study population, demonstrated the greatest benefit from treatment with gemfibrozil with a more than 70 percent reduction in incidence of cardiac events.
 "Identification and treatment of specific cardiac risk factors with gemfibrozil has demonstrated that we can actually reduce the incidence of heart attack," said Antonio M. Gotto Jr., M.D., chairman, American Lipid Information Bureau, and chairman, department of medicine, Baylor College of Medicine.
 "Reducing the rate of heart attack should be the goal of all therapeutic intervention for lipid abnormalities."
 The Helsinki Heart Study was a randomized, double-blind, five-year study. It was designed to assess the efficacy of elevating HDL cholesterol and lowering levels of non-HDL cholesterol with gemfibrozil in reducing the risk of CHD in 4,081 men with primary dyslipidemia.
 Gemfibrozil is marketed as Lopid by Warner-Lambert Company's (NYSE: WLA) Parke-Davis division and is currently the only lipid- regulating agent available in the United States specifically indicated to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
 (A) -- LDL is Low Density Lipoprotein or the "bad" cholesterol. HDL is High Density Lipoprotein or the "good" cholesterol.
 -0- 1/13/92
 /CONTACT: Kelly Berger or Ame Wadler of Hill and Knowlton, 212-697-5600, for Warner-Lambert/
 (WLA) CO: Warner-Lambert Co. ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU:


CK -- NY030 -- 9023 01/13/92 10:46 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1992
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