When a blood clot forms in a vein it is called a venous thromboembolism. DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is a blood clot in a large leg vein and can be life threatening if these blood clots break loose and travels to the heart, lungs or brain. The JUPITER trial which evaluated the statin Crestor (a cholesterol lowering medication) had previously reported benefits to prevent heart attacks and strokes. A further evaluation of this study suggests a probably lowering of the risk of venous blood clots. Patients taking Crestor in this trial were 43% less likely to develop venous blood clots than patients taking a placebo (presented at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting 2009).
Risk factors for venous blood clots include: hospitalization, surgery, prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, cancer and varicose veins. The lowered risk of blood clots with Crestor may be a class effect, meaning other cholesterol medications/statins may offer the same protection. This will need to be studied further.
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