New drug cuts 'bad' cholesterol by 60% on average, reducing heart attack risk
Saturday 18 March 2017 00.46 GMT Last modified on Saturday 18 March 2017 02.07 GMT
A new drug can prevent heart attacks and strokes by cutting bad cholesterol levels, scientists have found. An international trial of 27,000 patients found that those who took the drug evolocumab saw their bad cholesterol levels fall by about 60% on average.
The patients in the trial were already taking statins, which are used to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Despite this, the patients who took injections of evolocumab saw their bad cholesterol levels fall even further. They were also less likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke than those who took the placebo.
The study found that for every 74 people who took the drug for two years, one heart attack or stroke would be prevented. However, the findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the drug had no impact on the rate of cardiovascular mortality.
“A promising new approach is blocking the action of PCSK9, a molecule which reduces the breakdown of LDL-cholesterol in the liver. Creating new treatments which use this approach could prove life-saving for patients with high cholesterol and those who can’t tolerate statins.”