Heart disease and clinical trials. It’s very common to use something called “surrogate endpoints” in drug trials. Basically, if a marker like cholesterol gets better w/ a drug, then we MUST be having an effect on heart disease, right?
Unfotunately, the answer is usually a big no. But it does make the drug look effective to doctors who don’t read medical research. In this review, the surrogate endpoint of plaque in the coronary arteries (which is used commonly w/ statin drug trials) was shown to have no impact in rates of cardiac events.