Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchs show that cholesterol-lowering drugs cut heart attacks by more than a quarter

12.10.2007
A study into the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs has found they reduce heart attacks by more than 25 per cent.

The 15-year investigation, by researchers from the University of Glasgow, has shown that patients treated with statins for five years suffer 27 per cent fewer non-fatal heart attacks or deaths due to heart disease.

It appears that the statin treatment reduces the rate occurrence of heart disease events, even after patients stop taking the drug.

Professor Ian Ford, who led the study, said: “We believe that this remarkable ongoing benefit is due to a stabilizing of existing disease in the coronary arteries and significant slowing of further progression of disease. This benefit appears to have persisted for 10 years and may have conferred a lifelong advantage on those treated with the statin.”

The results are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The investigation was carried out by the same team who produced the landmark 1995 study that opened the door worldwide for patients to be treated with a statin.

The West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study followed volunteers over a 15-year period to investigate the treatment benefits and assess the long-term safety of statin use.

The first results of the study, published in 1995, showed that the risk of death from coronary heart disease or non-fatal heart attack was reduced significantly in men who were prescribed a statin for five years.

A total of 6595 Scottish middle-aged men, who had high cholesterol levels but who had not previously suffered a heart attack, were used in the study. One half of the group were prescribed a statin, while the others were given a placebo.

These patients have now been followed for 15 years and provided the basis for the latest findings.

Professor Ford said: “The results of the follow-up provide strong support for the safety of five years of statin use.

“When fatal and non-fatal heart disease events were studied, it was found that, despite the fact that most of the participants were not treated with a statin after the first five years of the trial there was evidence of the group originally receiving the statin continuing to be at lower risk of having a heart disease event.

“In fact, remarkably, five years of treatment with a statin resulted in 27 per cent fewer non-fatal heart attacks or deaths due to heart disease over the period of 15 years. There was a significant 12 per cent reduction in deaths over the entire period, with deaths due to heart disease reduced by 22 per cent.

“This suggests that statin treatment has a long-term beneficial effect in slowing the development of coronary artery disease.”

Professor Stuart Cobbe, lead cardiologist in the study, said: “We were very surprised to find that patients who had been treated for 5 years with a statin continued to have significantly fewer heart attacks and other coronary events compared to those treated with a placebo treatment. This benefit appeared to extend at least 10 years after the original trial.

“These results are very reassuring for patients who might be concerned about safety when taking a drug for a very long period of time. There was no evidence of adverse health problems associated with taking a statin for 5 years.

“Importantly, the relative risk reduction in the 10 years after the trial was lower than that observed during the trial, suggesting that there is still additional benefit from continuing to take statin treatment beyond 5 years. The researchers emphasize therefore that this research does not suggest that patients should stop taking their treatment after five years.

Professor Chris Packard, an expert on cholesterol lowering drugs, said: “The impact of statin treatment appeared to persist long after the active phase of the trial. This suggests that the drugs have lasting beneficial effects on the artery wall possibly by stabilising plaques that might be about to rupture and cause a heart attack.

“What is also important to note is that we made use of the electronic records that Scotland has held for hospital admissions, cancer registrations and deaths since the early 1980s. This study, based on following up participants’ electronic medical records, demonstrates the significant benefits that such records can provide for medical researchers. This Scottish resource is unique in the UK and is equalled in very few places worldwide.”

The research was supported by a research grant from the Chief Scientist Office, Scotland.

Martin Shannon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gla.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht When a fish becomes fluid
17.12.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pressure tuned magnetism paves the way for novel electronic devices

18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>