Choles­terol drug may help re­verse heart dis­ease

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

For the first time, a new drug given along with a choles­terol-low­er­ing statin medicine has proved able to shrink plaque that is clog­ging ar­ter­ies, po­ten­tially giv­ing a way to undo some of the dam­age of heart dis­ease.

The dif­fer­ence was very small but doc­tors hope it will grow with longer treat­ment, and any re­ver­sal or sta­bi­liza­tion of dis­ease would be a win for pa­tients and a long-sought goal.

The drug, Am­gen Inc.’s Repatha, also drove LDL, or bad choles­terol, down to lev­els rarely if ever seen in peo­ple be­fore. Heart pa­tients are told to aim for be­low 70, but some study par­tic­i­pants got as low as 15.

“There doesn’t ap­pear to be any level at which there is harm” from too lit­tle LDL, and the lower pa­tients went, the more their plaque shrank, said one study leader, the Cleve­land Clinic’s Dr. Steven Nis­sen.

Re­sults were pub­lished Tues­day by the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion.

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