A new drug can significantly lower bad cholesterol, triglycerides and Lp(A), without the side effects that statins cause in many people, the Methodist Hospital Research Institute researchers have claimed.
The study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Our study has shown a dramatic reduction in the dangerous fats that cause heart disease, the number one killer of Americans," said Dr. John Baxter, director of the Genomic Medicine Program at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and co-author for the study.
"For patients taking a statin, this drug can further lower LDL cholesterol by 25 percent - on top of what the statin is doing. It is also as potent in lowering triglycerides as any current medication available today," Baxter added. "It also lowers Lp(a), which is an under recognized factor that also causes atherosclerosis and is a common cause of heart attack in young people. Thus, eprotirome could be a major complement to the only current medication for this condition, niacin, which causes flushing side effects."
While statins remain the gold standard for cholesterol reduction today, they are still limited in helping patients reach strident goals set to reduce a patient's risk for heart disease and heart attack, and they can have significant side effects, Baxter added.