The study, conducted by Dr. Christie Ballantyne, medical director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Centre and team found that when patients were treated with Simcor combination, they had significantly better reductions in non-HDL (total cholesterol minus HDL), HDL and triglyceride levels.
Simcor combines prescription niacin and simvastatin, two FDA-approved medications, to target good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), and triglycerides in a single pill.
Niacin is known to raise HDL and statins are known to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
In the study, the patients were given Simcor combination containing 20 mg simvastatin and it was found that the patients' had significantly better reductions in non-HDL, in HDL and triglyceride levels compared to 20 mg simvastatin therapy alone.
And the patients receiving a Simcor combination with 40 mg simvastatin experienced reductions in non-HDL comparable to 80 mg high-dose simvastatin alone, and significant improvements in HDL and triglycerides.
"These results indicate that Simcor can go beyond what simvastatin alone can provide," Ballantyne said.
"This type of combination approach could be an important tool in treating the increasing number of patients with complex lipid disorders, the metabolic syndrome and heart disease," she said.
Treatment of high cholesterol has historically centred on the use of statins, including simvastatin, to lower LDL cholesterol, which has been the primary target of therapy.
"We now place more importance on comprehensive cholesterol management, including management of HDL levels, in impacting cardiovascular risk," Ballantyne said.
"Medications like Simcor can help patients address multiple problems with one pill," she added.