Expanding Markets: New research is claiming that those cholesterol-lowering miracle drugs, statins, are OK for kids. The study in question, however, was a small and brief one - just around 100 children in the drug and control groups. They were observed for two years to check for side effects. The researchers used carotid artery ultrasound to determine if they had an advancement or regression of cholesterol-induced vascular disease while taking Pravachol. They found regression, though it's not clear how the change in the ultrasound image correlates with actual clinical changes. For example, how do they correlate with the future incidence of heart disease in these kids with high cholesterol.
The researchers also looked for side effects from Pravachol among the kids, such as delayed growth, liver damage, and delayed puberty, and found none. The kids studied were ages 8 to 18, but the paper never tells what the actual age distribution was, only that the median age was 13. This is important. It matters whether or not most of the children were hovering around 13 or whether they were equally distributed from the age of 8 onwards, since drugs would have more potential to harm the developing pre-pubertal child than the already pubescent. I would still be reluctant to put a growing child on cholesterol-lowering drugs. posted by Sydney on
7/21/2004 08:31:00 AM