Niacin Unsafe

The Physicians Committee

Niacin Unsafe

August 1, 2014

Niacin—the B-vitamin often taken as a supplement to reduce triglycerides—appears to increase mortality risk, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers investigated the effects of an extended-release niacin on 25,673 participants as part of the Heart Protection Study 2–Treatment of HDL to Reduce the Incidence of Vascular Events (HPS2-THRIVE) study over four years. Those who took the niacin drug had a 9 percent increased risk for death, compared with the placebo group. Niacin did not reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

The HPS2-THRIVE Collaborative Group, Landray MJ, Haynes R, et al. Effects of extended release niacin with laropiprant in high-risk patients. N Engl J Med. 2014;371:203-212.

Lloyd-Jones DM. Niacin and HDL cholesterol—time to face facts. N Engl J Med. 2014;371:271-273.

Anderson TJ, Boden WE, Desvigne-Nickens P, et al. Safety profile of extended-release niacin in the AIM-HIGH trial. N Engl J Med. 2014;371:288-290.

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