Each year, 15 million people died from heart attacks, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease and, often, bad cholesterol (LDL) is the cause. But, scientists think a new drug could change that.
Evolocumab, which changes how the liver works to reduce bad cholesterol, reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke by 15 percent, according to the BBC. It also cut the rate of death in patients suffering from those by 25 percent.
Published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented to the American College of Cardiology, the results come from a year-long trial that examined the effectiveness of evolocumab compared to statins, a common cholesterol-reducing drug.
“The end result was cholesterol levels came down and down and down and we’ve seen cholesterol levels lower than we have ever seen before in the practice of medicine,” Prof. Peter Sever, an Imperial College London professor, told the BBC.
“I think these results are very good news for patients with atherosclerotic disease, who remain at high risk for these events,” the study’s lead author said in a press release.
Future studies will examine the effects of evolocumab in high-risk populations, like diabetes patients.