For People Who Can’t Take Statins This New Alternative Can Help

This alternative helped lower “bad cholesterol” levels | PLUS: Mayo Clinic Minute: Should older people take statins?

HEALTHLINE – New research shows patients who were unable to tolerate statins demonstrated reduced cardiovascular events after taking bempedoic acid.

Doctors say that while these results are promising and there are benefits of bempedoic acid, further research is needed.

Lifestyle therapy is recommended to improve heart health, including a well-balanced diet and exercise.

Most cardiovascular outcome trials involving lipid-lowering treatments have only examined participants who had a previous cardiovascular event. As a result, researchers wanted to explore how bempedoic acid affects cardiovascular outcomes among people who are statin-intolerant and have never had a major cardiovascular event such as a heart attack.

According to a new study published in JAMATrusted Source, these patients who were unable to tolerate statins, experienced reduced risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke after taking bempedoic acid.

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Results showed that bempedoic acid reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by about 21% or 30.2 mg/dL.

This randomized clinical trial involved 13,970 statin-intolerant patients, which included 4,206 patients who have not had a cardiovascular event.

The average age of participants was 68 years, with 59% female and 66% with diabetes.

“This is an exciting new therapy in patients who are truly statin intolerant,” said Dr. Eugenia Gianos, the director of Women’s Heart Health at Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital. “It improved cardiovascular outcomes in all patients, and unlike other trials, this subgroup had a great representation of women, with more than half of the study population being female.”

Primary prevention patients who have not suffered a cardiovascular event, probably represent the most exciting population for use of this medication if they are statin intolerant, however, it can also be considered as add-on therapy in patients with heart disease not able to get their cholesterol down with other therapies, Gianos explained.

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Doctors say that while these results are promising and there are benefits of bempedoic acid, further research is needed …


Mayo Clinic Minute: Should older people take statins?

August 16, 2022

Statins are medications designed to lower cholesterol to decrease your risk of cardiovascular issues, such as heart attacks. Recent research shows that people 75 and older who go off statins have an increased risk of hospitalization because of cardiovascular problems.

Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says that many older people who take statins should stay on them.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network.” Read the script.

“For years, there was this controversy whether or not older people will benefit from statins, but the controversy was mostly based on the fact that clinical trials did not include many older people,” says Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.

He says there’s a growing body of research that shows statins benefit this age group. And he says older people at risk of heart attack who take the medication should consider staying on it.

“Getting off the statins essentially puts people at risk for heart attacks because they lose the protection of what lowering the cholesterol gives or provides at that age,” says Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.

Some people are leery of taking statins because of potential side effects, but Dr. Lopez-Jimenez notes that life-threatening side effects from statins are extremely rare.

He recommends that older people talk to their health care providers about the risks and benefits of statins.

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