How 2 Drugs Lower Cholesterol Remarkably — and Reverse Heart Disease
Newer cholesterol-lowering drugs combined with more conventional medicine reduces bad cholesterol to incredibly low levels, a new study shows. Perhaps even more important, the combination also reduces the heart-attack-inducing plaque that forms inside the arteries, the study says.
The study was led by cardiologist Steven Nissen, MD, Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Results appeared recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The study looked at the use of a drug called evolocumab by people who took statins to lower the amount of LDL, or bad, cholesterol in their blood. Evolocumab is a drug called a PCSK9 inhibitor. This is a newer kind of medicine that can make LDL cholesterol levels plummet.
The people who took statins and evolocumab had greater reductions in atherosclerosis compared with people who took statins and a placebo. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. The condition can lead to serious problems, including heart attack, stroke, or even death.
The results are an intriguing indicator — rather than definite proof — that evolocumab may have benefit for patients taking statins, Dr. Nissen says. Researchers are still awaiting the results of large clinical trials investigating whether evolocumab is safe and will prevent heart attack, stroke or death. The first results of these studies are expected in April 2017.
Learn more about the study's results.