Promising Cholesterol Drug Could Cut Heart Attack, Stroke Risk by Half

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A new drug therapy may be able to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by more than 50%, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings were presented at the 64th annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in San Diego.

In a one-year extension of 12 phase 2 and 3 clinical trials that assessed evolocumab’s ability to reduce LDL cholesterol, 2,976 patients treated with evolocumab plus standard statin therapy saw a 61% reduction in LDL cholesterol levels, and in 12 weeks, 90.2% of patients treated with the therapy had LDL levels less than 100 mg/dL, which is considered optimal range. Over 73% of patients treated with the new therapy had LDL levels drop to 70 mg/dL or less.

In the 1,489 patients that received standard therapy alone (moderate to high intensity statin therapy), only 26% saw LDL levels drop below 100 mg/dL, and only 3.8% saw LDL levels drop below 70 mg/dL.

Compared to patients who received standard therapy alone, patients treated with evolocumab had a 53% reduction in cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, hospitalization, angioplasty, and death, with a 0.95% risk of cardiovascular events during the 11-month follow-up compared to standard-therapy treated patients, who had a 2.18% risk.

Although the drug is still currently undergoing clinical trial in a large cohort, researchers are hopeful that the treatment holds promise for cholesterol reduction, especially in patients that do not respond well or tolerate statins. 

Cholesterol
Promising Cholesterol Drug Could Cut Heart Attack, Stroke Risk by Half

Currently, statin therapy is the standard treatment for many patients with high cholesterol. But a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine claims a drug called evolocumab could be much more effective; it reduced cholesterol levels so dramatically that patients' risk of cardiovascular events — such as heart attack and stroke — fell by more than half, compared with those receiving standard therapy alone.

Lead study author Dr. Marc Sabatine, a senior physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, and colleagues recently presented their findings at the American College of Cardiology's 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego, CA.

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