Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Residual cardiovascular risk is an issue for patients despite aggressive LDL-C lowering in intervention trials. Currently no guidelines are available for increasing HDL-C, an independent risk factor for coronary vascular disease. Niacin is the most potent drug available for raising plasma levels of HD L-C. A review of literature was conducted to determine if the addition of niacin to an established statin therapy would decrease residual cardiovascular risk. Key words used in multiple literature searches included the terms "dyslipidemias, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, cardiovascular diseases, niacin, cholesterol HDL, and cardiovascular risk". It has been concluded that niacin is beneficial in reducing coronary artery revascularization, non-fatal MI, strokes and TIA; niacin combined with simvastatin is a better combination choice for increasing HDL and decreasing independent risk factors for CVD; more studies are needed for high risk individuals; and niacin has positive effects on lipid profiles. Future products may become available to combat the number one issue with niacin, flushing. Practitioners should not shy away from using niacin based on the most recent study AIM-HIGH. Educating patients on what to expect when beginnjng niacin therapy is the key to successful treatment