A drug that successfully raises HDL and lowers triglycerides does not reduce heart disease risk. One scientist quoted in the NY Times said that this study indicates that changing biomarkers for disease is not the same thing as preventing the disease. While obvious to many people outside the biomedical world, it's lovely to hear someone from the biomedical complex say that.
Oddly, many folks quoted in the article said that regardless of the study, people should still take the drug or at least talk with their doctor about discontinuing it. Which is a lot like what came out of the National Preventive Services Task Force's report about mammograms for younger women: we want to learn from evidence, but not shake things up.
Throughout the article, different people kept saying that the study implies that raising HDL does not improve heart disease risk, but really they seemed to mean that raising HDL through drugs doesn't work, but as far as I know raising it through exercise and diet does improve heart disease risk.
Everyone already knows the answer: stop eating processed food, start cooking, and exercise. There are no easy answers, but I think that Men's Health magazine has better heart disease prevention than most medical journals. The sooner we get past the nutritional fads that elevate processed foods above unprocessed foods, and use drugs as a short-cut, the healthier we'll be. Isn't it crazy that during the 90s, people saw coconut and chicken with skin and whole milk as dangerous, and pasta and bread and low fat sweetened yogurt as healthy?