Study compares cardiovascular risk reduction of statin and non-statin therapies used for lowering cholesterol

27 September 2016        

Category: BHF Comment

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The clinical benefit of lowering LDL-C with statins remains widely accepted. In contrast, the comparative clinical benefit of non-statin therapies that reduce LDL-C remains uncertain.

A new study published this week evaluates the association between lowering LDL-C and relative cardiovascular risk reduction across different statin and non-statin therapies.

In response to the research, Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and reducing your cholesterol level is an effective way of reducing your risk of a future heart attack or stroke. 

“This analysis supports previous findings that it’s the lowering of “bad cholesterol” – or LDL cholesterol – that really matters when it comes to preventing heart attacks, and not the means by which it is achieved. Statins are a safe and effective way of lowering cholesterol, and this study helps to dispel the notion that statins work in ways that are unrelated to lowering cholesterol. 

“The vast majority of patients in this analysis were taking statins and several of the non-statin approaches included in the study, such as bowel surgery, are not viable options for patients today. Patients on statins should be reassured that by lowering their cholesterol levels they are helping to protect themselves from future heart attacks and strokes.”

Learn more about statins