DEC 28, 2016 7:42 PM PST

Pairing Statins with Another Drug to Prevent Heart Attack

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

There are two different types of cholesterol in the body, considered to be good and bad, and there are two different drugs to alter their levels in the body: statin drugs lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – “bad” cholesterol levels and fenofibrate increases the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – “good” cholesterol. In a new study, scientists looked for the first time at the potential dual effect of using both drugs to prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.

Source: AARP

Fenofibrate is already used to reduce blood levels of triglycerides and increase HDL. Both high levels of triglycerides (fat) and low levels of HDL lead to atherosclerotic plaque buildup in the blood vessels, and treatment with fenofibrate can reduce that risk.

Statins are commonly used to lower blood pressure but don't influence triglyceride and HDL levels like fenofibrate can. The drug lowers blood pressure by reducing LDL levels by blocking a substance required for the production of cholesterol and by helping the body reabsorb cholesterol. The action of statin drugs is vital for the prevention of vessel blockages that can cause heart attacks.

In combination with statins, could fenofibrate reduce the risk of heart disease in individuals with type two diabetes, who are already at an increased risk for cardiovascular problems due to high triglycerides, low HDL? Results from the recent study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) seem to show that the two drugs could be successful in this mission.

Researchers followed more than four thousand patients for five years after a 2009 clinical trial involving administration of the two drugs. So far, the results suggest that fenofibrate and statin therapy together is in fact capable of reducing the risk of dangerous cardiac events for diabetics. The findings were promising enough that scientists plan on continuing with a new, randomized study to confirm the effect.

This study was recently published in JAMA Cardiology.

Source: NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
JAN 05, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Brown Fat Appears to Protect Against Disease
JAN 05, 2021
Brown Fat Appears to Protect Against Disease
Not all fat is the same. White fat is what we're usually thinking of when we think of flabby tissue that stores excess c ...
JAN 07, 2021
Cardiology
Climbing Some Stairs is a Good Way to Check Heart Health
JAN 07, 2021
Climbing Some Stairs is a Good Way to Check Heart Health
If you can climb four flights in under a minute, your heart is probably in good shape, according to new work presented a ...
APR 06, 2021
Cardiology
In 2020, Deaths in the US Were Over 20% Higher Than Typical Years
APR 06, 2021
In 2020, Deaths in the US Were Over 20% Higher Than Typical Years
Researchers have begun to analyze the impact of the pandemic, and their work has shown that long COVID-19 surges in the ...
APR 14, 2021
Cardiology
Activity At Work Doesn't Benefit Like Leisure Time Exercise
APR 14, 2021
Activity At Work Doesn't Benefit Like Leisure Time Exercise
A new study that examined the habits and health conditions of thousands of people has suggested that exercise that's don ...
MAY 18, 2021
Immunology
Pizza's (Temporary) Effect on the Immune System
MAY 18, 2021
Pizza's (Temporary) Effect on the Immune System
Too much salt isn’t good for you—we know that it can contribute to elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular a ...
JUL 27, 2021
Cardiology
Researchers Advise Those Considering Pregnancy to Check Heart Health
JUL 27, 2021
Researchers Advise Those Considering Pregnancy to Check Heart Health
Scientists have examined the associations between cardiovascular problems before a pregnancy and complications during la ...
Loading Comments...