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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
For individuals who receive unhealthy cholesterol test results, a prescription for a statin medication and ezetimibe is common. However, a team of German researchers is now questioning the benefits of this treatment approach.
Statin medications have been shown to reduce cholesterol, which can be a risk factor for heart attacks and stroke. In patients who are particularly at risk, doctors often prescribe these medications in conjunction with ezetimibe, which has been shown to block the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine.
However, after examining the results of two previous studies, researchers from the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare found that there is little difference in the number of cardiovascular deaths in patients prescribed the dual-therapy and those treated with statins alone.
Often, pharmaceuticals are evaluated for their effectiveness and approved for use on their own merits. However, there is little to stop doctors from prescribing multiple medications in conjunction, even when the drugs have not been tested together.
The researchers concluded that more information is needed to determine whether or not statin-ezetimibe combination therapies are effective.
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