New treatment for high cholesterol could help those sensitive to statins

Author: Amy Oshier Writer: WINK News Digital
Published: Updated:

Statins are usually the gold standard for treating high cholesterol, but about 15% of patients have statin intolerance, which is why a team of researchers at the Cleveland Clinic is leading a trial looking into an alternative to statins.

According to the CDC, around two in every five Americans struggle with high cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease or stroke if left untreated.

“There are some people, probably about 10 to 15% of the population, that just don’t tolerate statins,” said Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist Steven Nissen.

Nissen is evaluating a statin alternative in a trial called Clear Outcomes.

“Bempedoic acid does lower cholesterol, it’s a bit less effective, but it can be combined with another drug, known as ezetimibe, and the two together can lower the bad cholesterol,” Nissen said.

At the end of the trial, researchers found there was a 13% reduction in cardiovascular death, heart attack and stroke in the patients that received the statin alternative.

“Those people who can’t tolerate statins are good candidates to be treated with bempedoic acid,” Nissen said.

There are a few risks associated with the alternative, including a 1% increase in the risk of gout and an increased risk of gallstones.

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