Take more statins to beat heart attacks
THOUSANDS of heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular disease could be prevented by patients taking higher doses of statins and taking the drugs as advised by doctors, a study has suggested.
Researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Leicester estimate the measures could lead to 12,000 cardiovascular events – such as a heart attack or stroke – being averted among high-risk patients in the UK.
The paper, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, is the first to look at the combined effect of high intensity statin treatment and adherence in patients who have already had a cardiovascular event and who are at increased risk of it happening again, compared to the general public.
It found that those taking the highest doses of statins to reduce their lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels – the “bad” cholesterol which builds up in the arteries – and, crucially, who take the medication as advised by their doctor, saw the biggest reductions in risk.