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Researchers confirm benefits of new cholesterol-lowering medication

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

For individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol tests, statin medications are widely considered the standard treatment. However, a team of researchers have developed a drug that may deliver better results than statins while carrying a lower risk of side effects.

Researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that a drug class known as PCSK9-inhibitors may represent a powerful cholesterol-lowering treatment. They conducted a study that showed that the medications may lower cholesterol levels by up to 61 percent. Furthermore, no patients in the study stopped taking their drugs due to side effects.

This was the first study to test the effectiveness of PCSK9-inhibitors in people. Previous animal trials showed similar benefits. The medications work by blocking the expression of a gene that instructs liver cells to produce cholesterol. When this gene is silenced, the body's natural cholesterol production plummets.

The team said the findings indicate that PCSK9-inhibitors have strong benefits in humans. This may indicate that further trials are warranted to ensure the safety and efficacy of the drug class.

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