Statin Alternative Lowers Heart Attack, Stroke Risks, Major Study Finds
Statins are the most common cholesterol-lowering drugs, but some patients can't tolerate or refuse it due to side effects. In a large study of bempedoic acid, sold as Nexletol by Esperion Therapeutics, the alternative medication option is shown to both lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Stat examines whether doctors will start to prescribe the pill more.
Is There An Alternative To Statins For High Cholesterol? Bempedoic Acid Just Passed A Key Test
More than a quarter of Americans over 40 take medications to lower their cholesterol, most of them statins. But not everyone can tolerate statins or wants to. Now a new study confirms that bempedoic acid, approved in 2020, not only lowers cholesterol, but also reduces the risk for heart attack and stroke. (Weintraub, 3/4)
Can't Take Statins? New Pill Cuts Cholesterol, Heart Attacks
In a major study, a different kind of cholesterol-lowering drug named Nexletol reduced the risk of heart attacks and some other cardiovascular problems in people who can’t tolerate statins, researchers reported Saturday. Doctors already prescribe the drug, known chemically as bempedoic acid, to be used together with a statin to help certain high-risk patients further lower their cholesterol. The new study tested Nexletol without the statin combination -- and offers the first evidence that it also reduces the risk of cholesterol-caused health problems. (Neergaard, 3/4)
After Its Drug Was Shown To Prevent Heart Attacks, What’s Next For Esperion?
On Saturday a new study showed that Nexletol, the cholesterol-lowering medicine made by Esperion Therapeutics, prevented heart attacks among people who cannot or will not take potent cholesterol-lowering statins. The question now is whether those benefits are going to be enough to make sales of Nexletol take off. They have been basically dead in the water since the oral medicine was approved three years ago. (Herper, 3/6)
In other news about heart health —
'Keto-Like' Diet May Be Associated With Heart Disease, According To New Research
A low-carb, high-fat “keto-like” diet may be linked to higher levels of “bad” cholesterol and double the risk of cardiovascular events such as blocked arteries, heart attacks and strokes, according to new research. “Our study found that regular consumption of a self-reported diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat was associated with increased levels of LDL cholesterol – or “bad” cholesterol – and a higher risk of heart disease,” lead study author Dr. Iulia Iatan with the Healthy Heart Program Prevention Clinic, St. Paul’s Hospital and University of British Columbia’s Centre for Heart Lung Innovation in Vancouver, Canada, said in a news release. (Hassan and LaMotte, 3/6)
The New York Times:
New Treatment Could Help Fix The Heart’s ‘Forgotten Valve’
For the first time, patients with damaged tricuspid valves in their hearts might have a safe treatment that actually helps. More than 1 million mostly older Americans have seriously leaking tricuspids, a valve on the right side of the heart that lets deoxygenated blood flow between the right atrium and the right ventricle. When the valve leaks, blood flows backward. As a result, fluid accumulates in vital organs while legs and feet get swollen. The eventual outcome is heart failure. (Kolata, 3/4)
Heart Repair, Risky Genes, And AI: Highlights Of Cardiology Meeting
Aptly or paradoxically, thousands of the world’s leading cardiologists descended on the home of beignets, bouillabaisse, and beers sold to-go for a weekend-long dive into the latest developments in the science of keeping hearts beating healthily. While some noisy new data on a cholesterol drug consumed much of the oxygen, and the dawn of a new era of obesity treatment hung over the proceedings, there was time enough at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting for academic debates over just how to mend a broken heart, the role of artificial intelligence in guiding treatment, and whether cardiovascular health is a convincing reason to get a flu shot. (Garde and Herper, 3/6)