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20 year study shows statin benefits

Thursday September 7th, 2017

Statins significantly reduce death rates among people with high LDL levels and few other cardiovascular risk factors, according to the findings of a major UK study published last night.

Researchers said theirs was the longest ever study of the impact of statins.

The randomised trial in the West of Scotland began in the 1990s, helping to establish statins as the standard treatment for high cholesterol levels – and the latest analysis has examined the fate of participants over a 20-year period.

The findings were published last night in Circulation and included more than 5,500 men who had no evidence of cardiovascular disease at the outset of the research. This included 2,560 with very high LDL levels.

The researchers found that treatment with statins was linked to an 18% reduction of death rates among those with very high LDL levels.

This included a 28% reduction in risk of death from coronary heart disease and a 25% reduction in risk of death from other forms of cardiovascular disease.

Researcher Professor Kausik Ray, of Imperial College, London, UK, said: "This is the strongest evidence yet that statins reduce the risk of heart disease and death in men with high LDL. Our study lends support to LDL's status as a major driver of heart disease risk, and suggests that even modest LDL reductions might offer significant mortality benefits in the long-term.

“Our analysis firmly establishes that controlling LDL over time translates to fewer deaths in this population."

*The NHS is caring for a growing number of women with serious cardiovascular disease, according to an analysis published today.

The British Heart Foundation study found 642,000 hospital visits by women with cardiovascular disease in 2015-16. This compared with 549,000 ten years earlier.

Foundation medical director Professor Sir Nilesh Samani said:
“These figures reveal the high and growing burden of heart and circulatory disease on the NHS.

“They specifically highlight that women are not immune to heart diseases and there is a need for more awareness so they receive better and prompt care.”

Circulation 6 September 2017

Tags: Diet & Food | Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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