The health of more than two million people in Britain is thought to be affected by arteries narrowed by the build-up of fatty deposits, which can lead to potentially fatal conditions including heart attacks and strokes, reported online edition of Daily Mail.
Neal Uren, consultant cardiologist at Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary gave 349 heart disease patients in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia intensive treatment with a new form of statin, a type of drug used to reduce cholesterol levels known as Rosuvastatin.
Tests found that as cholesterol was reduced, build-ups of fatty deposits in the patients' arteries also showed a slight regression.
The research found almost four out of five patients (78 percent) demonstrated some form of reduction in the level of atherosclerosis.
The reductions were found to be greatest in the arteries with the greatest disease severity, it said.
In the past, medical experts focused their efforts on slowing the progress of what was thought to be an irreversible disease, but the new study revealed that intensive use of the powerful new cholesterol-reducing drug could also reduce the deposits, known as atheroma.