Congratulations to 3rd year, PhD student Lauren Strand who received the Louis Garrison Sr. And Marilyn Garrison Endowed Prize in Health Policy and Economics prize! Lauren’s paper is titled “New Statin use and left ventricular structure: Estimating long-term associations in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).”
Laurent’s research looked at recent clinical guidelines that have increased the number of individuals eligible for treatment with statin drugs. Statin users are now younger and expected to use these drugs for extended periods. Statins are reported to have “pleiotropic effects” where some effects may be beneficial to cardiovascular health outside their capacity to lower cholesterol. However, statins are known to have negative effects on skeletal muscle.
Lauren’s paper entitled “New statin use and left ventricular structure: Estimating long-term associations in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)” focused on estimating the effect of statin use on the structure of the heart. To date, small and short‐term studies of this relationship have demonstrated very large effect sizes. This study in a large, diverse cohort demonstrated a modest association between statin use and reduced remodeling of the left ventricle (i.e. reduced change in mass) in a propensity score matched model. Overall findings suggest that any (small) statin effect on cardiac remodeling is likely not the main mechanism of statin benefit in the primary prevention of heart failure.
In future analyses, she plans on considering incorporating clinical outcomes and evaluating the relationship between other classes of medications (e.g. antihypertensive drugs) and heart structure.
The Garrison Prize is intended to recognize annually an outstanding research paper in the area of health policy and economics. CHOICE Professor Emeritus Louis Garrison, Jr and his wife, Fran, established this fund in 2008 in fond memory of his parents who were great believers in the value of higher education and science. We presented the award to Lauren at our annual retreat in May.
Congratulations to Lauren!