Cardiovascular diseases are diseases that originate from the vascular system and/or the heart.
These include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, acute coronary syndrome, heart attack, and stroke.
These diseases were the most common cause of death worldwide in 2016, accounting for 31% of all deaths.
Of these causes of death, 85% resulted from a heart attack or stroke.
One of the largest modifiable risk factors is a high LDL cholesterol level (LDL = low-density lipoprotein, or ‘bad’ cholesterol).
The reduction in LDL cholesterol is an important goal in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
In patients with a history of heart problems, using cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins is recommended.
In a study from the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, researchers found that treatment with a statin in combination with drug ezetimibe could benefit patients with a history of coronary heart disease or acute coronary syndrome.
The drug combo could help cut risks of heart attacks and strokes.
The benefit from this drug combo is stronger than that from treatment with statins alone.
The team also found the combination of a statin plus the lipid-lowering drug alirocumab may also provide better health benefits than a statin alone.
In addition, the combination therapy of a statin plus ezetimibe was not superior to the combination of a statin plus alirocumab.
The team believes their findings provide useful information for patients to protect their heart health.
Future work needs to confirm these findings in larger population groups.
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