According to new research, an alternative to statins may lessen the number of patients with high levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol who die from heart disease.
A 39% reduction in heart disease fatalities and heart attacks was observed when bempedoic acid was taken as a daily pill, according to research presented Saturday at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting.
The Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute’s chief academic officer and study’s principal author, Dr. Steven Nissen, expressed his amazement at what his team discovered. “I hope that patients and doctors will take this as a wake-up call.”
According to Nissen, nowadays, less than half of those who should be given a prescription for a cholesterol-lowering drug due to a risk of heart disease do so. He stated that has to change.
“Treating people who have risk factors before their first cardiovascular event would have large benefits,” he added. Not only would it avoid problems, but it would also prevent deaths.
The gold standard for treating high cholesterol, statins, are not as effective as bempedoic acid, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2020. However, due to potential side effects such muscle discomfort, headaches, sleep issues, and digestive issues, many patients stop taking or refuse to take statins.
According to a recent study, 20% of patients who are at high risk for heart disease refuse to take statins when their doctor prescribes them. The study found that women in particular were less likely to comply with a statin prescription.
Although the latest study mainly investigated how bempedoic acid affected those who experienced side effects from statins, it discovered that decreasing cholesterol led to significantly fewer heart attacks and deaths from heart disease.
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