September 13, 2017 – Two Cholesterol Drugs


Anchor lead: Using two drugs to lower cholesterol reduces heart disease risk, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, or are at high risk for one, chances are good you’re taking a statin to lower your cholesterol. Now a new study presented at the recent European cardiology meeting adds evidence to the strategy of using more than one drug to accomplish this goal. Michael Blaha, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, frames up the issue.

Blaha: If you add an additional cholesterol lowering drug to a statin can you further reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke? Now we have several new trials which showed that adding new cholesterol lowering pills on top of a statin reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke. The new one that’s been recently reported is a drug called anacetrapib. This lowered cholesterol levels by about 17% and reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke by about 9%, adding further evidence to the notion that further LDL lowering on top of a statin leads to benefit in high risk patients. :30

Blaha says while this specific agent most likely won’t be FDA approved, it does support use of a second agent to reduce cardiovascular risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.