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Statin medications shown to have little impact on immediate heart risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Statin medications have become a common treatment for individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results. However, the use of these drugs has also been growing among doctors treating individuals who are at eminent risk of a heart attack or who have just experienced such an event.

Despite these practices, a new study from researchers at McMaster University found that there is little benefit to treating these patients with statins.

For the study, the researchers reviewed data collected from more than 14,000 patients during the course of 18 previous investigations. These results showed that statins are in fact effective at reducing cholesterol levels over the long-term. However, the medications have little immediate benefit for patients who are at risk of heart attacks.

“Our findings suggest that there probably is a benefit with statin treatment early on, although it is small, and we know that it accumulates with time. And patients can be assured that serious side effects are very rare,” said Matthias Briel, who led the investigation.

He added that the fact that there are very few side effects indicates that there is likely no harm to treating patients at immediate risk to treating patients with statins. 

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