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New drug could reduce heart attacks and cholesterol

Category: General Wellness

A new drug may be able to reduce cholesterol in people with high levels whose bodies are resistant to statins. The drug has shown significant promise in a clinical testing trial, significantly lowering low-density lipoprotein, often referred to as "bad cholesterol."

LDL rates and the new medication
The study, performed by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and published in the journal The Lancet, showed that the new drug, ALN-PCS, was more than 40 percent more effective than a placebo at lowering cholesterol levels, noted The Guardian. The trial included 32 British and American volunteers with moderate to severe cholesterol levels who were randomly given either the new drug or a placebo. Cholesterol tests revealed that those taking the new drug experienced LDL cholesterol drops of up to 57 percent.

ALN-PCS is not a statin, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America, noted Time magazine blog. About 20 percent of people with high LDL levels cannot take statins, which have side effects that can damage muscles, memory and blood vessels. Lab tests{add link} show that this new drug shows promise for treating high LDL levels in those who would otherwise be without treatment.

"If successfully developed, this class of drugs could be an alternative to the one in five people who are resistant to statins, or be combined with statins to produce even greater effects for the many others for whom the current first line treatment does not lower cholesterol enough," said Kevin Fitzgerald, Ph.D., lead researcher of the study.

Millions of people around the world have high LDL levels but cannot tolerate statins, so the new medication could be beneficial on a global level.

High LDL levels
Since high LDL levels are connected to heart attack, heart disease, strokes and other complications. Lowering LDL levels can help to reduce these risks in those who have been shown to have unhealthy cholesterol levels. It is important for people to be tested regularly with blood tests for cholesterol and other issues.

For those seeking answers to questions regarding their cholesterol levels or other, health-related information, a lab test online may be the answer. These tests can help to diagnose problems like high LDL levels, allowing for treatment that can potentially extend lives and improve quality of life.

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