Good news for people prone to heart attacks. A class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins help to prevent heart attacks for about 10 years after people stop taking them.
The New England Journal of Medicine http://content.nejm.org/ has published a study from Scotland showing that men taking the drug Pravachol for five years significantly lowered their risk of heart attack and death from heart disease. The new study followed these men for another 10 years after they stop taking the drug. The group was then compared to a placebo groupin the five-year study. There was a 25% lower risk of heart attack or death from heart disease in the statin group.
The drug seemed to stabilize existing plaque and slow down the progression of coronary artery disease. Overall many people continue to take the drug and continue to receive its beneficial effects. The study has some long-term weaknesses but reducing levels of LDL cholesterol with statin drugs along with dietary changes reduces the risk of heart disease.
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