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Statins cut the risk of heart attack

Research released at the American Heart Association meeting suggests that statins, used to lower cholesterol, could also help to reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Statins are drugs used to lower cholesterol and work by blocking a substance your body needs to make cholesterol. Statins are a popular and widely prescribed drug.

The statins study

Researchers studied about 18,000 men and women with normal cholesterol levels but an elevated marker of inflammation (C-reactive protein) that indicates a risk for heart disease. None had a history of heart disease. The participants took a daily dose of a statins.

The rate of heart attacks fell by 54%, the rate of strokes went down by 48% and cases of death were reduced by 20%, compared with those receiving a placebo.

The trial had been scheduled to continue for 4 years, but the results were so positive that the study was stopped after less than 2 years. The study found that statins can cut heart attacks and strokes by about half, even for those with normal cholesterol levels.

Comments on the research

Dr Rader, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine said, “This is perhaps the most important study in the last decade in terms of reducing risk of heart disease.”


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