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Updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu, Apr 18, 2019

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Statin and Non-statin Combination Shows Very Effective Outcomes against Heart Attacks

Cholesterol

(Photo : Creative Commons: Flickr)

A combination treatment for heart attack combining a statin and non-statin drug has shown "very effective outcomes."

A study presented at the recent American Heart Association Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago showed the trial combining Zetia, a non-statin medication, and the statin Zocor had the most impact against heart attacks.

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Results of this study show that heart attack and stroke risks were reduced when patients took Zetia with a statin. The combo drug also reduced LDL to some 53 from 70, the target under the old guidelines.

"This is the first line of evidence that shows when a non-statin drug is added to a statin drug, it resulted in very effective outcomes," said Mark Creager, MD, president-elect of the American Heart Association.

The study involved over 18,000 people with known heart disease. It found those who took Zetia and Zocor together had a 13 percent drop in heart attack risk, and a 21 percent drop in stroke risk, compared to those who only took the statin.

The drug combination cut bad cholesterol or LDL by an average of 17 points below a statin drug alone.

"These findings ... reaffirm that reducing LDL cholesterol prevents cardiovascular disease," according Christopher Cannon, MD, one of the lead investigators in the trial.

Cannon says the side effects were minimal and comparable to those of taking statins alone.

Doctors have long sought alternatives to statins since some people simply can't get cholesterol low enough on those drugs alone. On the other hand, others can't tolerate high doses of statins needed for their conditions.

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