Choles­terol

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - HEALTH -

There is noth­ing more ea­gerly awaited in car­dio­vas­cu­lar medicine than the re­sults from a large clin­i­cal trial of a new choles­terol­low­er­ing treat­ment. Called PCSK9 in­hibitors, this class of drugs has been shown in ear­lier tri­als to si­lence the gene that cre­ates LDL – or “bad” – choles­terol. The out­come of the large Phase III trial should be known soon. Choles­terol-low­er­ing statins, the cur­rent stan­dard-bearer in the fight against heart disease, have had a bad rap in re­cent years. While still re­garded as safe and ef­fec­tive, their ad­verse side ef­fects (such as mus­cle pain and weak­ness) cause many pa­tients to dis­con­tinue ther­apy or take less than the rec­om­mended dose. Ex­perts say PCSK19 in­hibitors, while not with­out side ef­fects, could be a vi­able op­tion for statin-in­tol­er­ant pa­tients. The FDA last year ap­proved PCSK19 for high-risk pa­tients, say­ing the drugs will likely be used more widely, once the Phase III trial is com­pleted. This is good news for New Zealand, where some­one dies from heart disease every 90 min­utes.

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