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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
Many individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol tests may take statin medications. A new study indicates that these drugs may have more benefits for a person's heart health than simply lowering cholesterol.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina showed that statin medications also deactivate a molecule known as tissue factor, which causes blood to clot. Under normal circumstances this is good. However, in people with high cholesterol it can cause a reaction that leads to blockages that can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Nigel Mackman, who led the study, said that previous investigations have shown that statins reduce the risk of blood vessel blockages. However, his research is among the first to describe exactly how the drugs produce this effect, which may open the door to their use for more than just lowering cholesterol.
"Though statin therapy is primarily prescribed to lower cholesterol, some added benefits are its anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic activities," Mackman said. "I think we should be trying to better understand the antithrombotic activities of statins so we can develop safer antithrombotic drugs."
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