2-Dec-14 10:00 AM  CST

Proof use of Statins May Give Long-Term Heart Benefits

Cholesterol lowering drugs commonly referred to as statins, have showed yet another benefit in fighting heart disease. A new study shows that people in their middle years of life, 45-65, who use statins to lower cholesterol also lower their risk for heart disease and death for several more decades, than those who do not take statin.

            The study, which began in 1989 tracked 6600 Scottish men between the ages of 45-65 who had high levels of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) commonly known as “bad” cholesterol. One half of the men were given a placebo and the other half of the men were given the cholesterol-fighting drug, Pravachol (pravastatin). After 5 years researchers found there were fewer heart attacks and 35 % fewer cases of heart disease in the men who had taken Pravachol.

            Twenty years after the study was conducted the risk of death due to a heart-related event was 27% lower for the men who had taken Pravachol than those who had taken the placebo. Additionally, researchers found that 31% of the men who had taken Pravachol had a lower risk for heart disease than their counterparts who had taken a placebo. It has long been felt that use of a moderate to low dose statin helps to prevent heart –related events in patients with a higher risk due to higher levels of LDL, and this most recent study seem to help cooperate this. Still doctors warn that statins alone will not prevent heart disease or death due to heart disease, and caution patients to use a combination of diet and exercise along with a moderate to low dose daily statin to help prevent heart-related events. Patients should never be falsely led into believing that statins alone will prevent heart disease, since diet and exercise are key factors leading to a diagnosis of heart disease.

 

 

 

References:

Marchione, M., (2014) “Early statin use may give long term heart benefits”, Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/early-statin-use-may-give-long-term-heart-benefits/2014/11/24/59d009dc-70d0-11e4-ad12-3734c461eab6_story.html, retrieved 1.December 2014


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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