Cholesterol-busting pill could save heart victims

Thursday, November 18, 2010

LONDON - A cholesterol-busting pill that cuts the risk of heart attacks and strokes is being developed by scientists.

Scientists believe the powerful new drug, anacetrapib, could save the lives of thousands of heart patients every year. Heart disease is one of biggest killers globally.

The daily pill has been shown to halve the bad cholesterol level in the blood, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Bad cholesterol is one of the main triggers of heart attacks and strokes.

Researchers claim the drug is so effective that it could reduce deaths from heart disease to such an extent that it will no longer be Britain’s biggest killer, reports the Daily Mail.

A Harvard University study found the drug, which is several years off from entering the market, dropped cholesterol levels to unprecedented lows.

“We are the most excited in decades,” said study leader Christopher Cannon of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“If this pans out, it may turn back the clock on heart disease and push it off the top of the list as the leading killer,” Cannon said.

Researchers gave the pill to 800 people with heart disease who were already taking the statins drug.

Their findings showed that after six months, the patients’ bad cholesterol levels had halved while their good cholesterol levels had more than doubled.

Filed under: Heart Disease, Medicine, World

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