Source: NHS News – Behind the Headlines
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Date of publication: March 2019
Publication type: News item
In a nutshell: A study has looked into the safety of a new treatment to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly known as “bad” cholesterol.
High cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which kills about 150,000 people in the UK each year.
Researchers recruited over 2,000 people who were already taking statins to lower their cholesterol. They were split into 2 groups. One group was given the new drug, bempedoic acid, alongside their statin for 1 year. The other group was given a dummy drug (placebo).
After 3 months, those who took bempedoic acid had lowered their bad cholesterol by around 17% compared to those on the placebo. There was no difference in reported side effects between this drug and the placebo over the course of 1 year. The dropout rate because of side effects was slightly higher in the bempedoic acid group (11%) compared with the placebo group (7%).
This study adds to the research looking for new cholesterol-lowering treatments when statins either don’t work or cause undesirable side effects. However, bempedoic acid is not currently a licensed treatment. The safety of the drug needs to be confirmed before it is made available.
Length of publication: 1 webpage
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Acknowledgement: NHS News – Behind the Headlines