Liver disease could soon be treated with statins after new research showed they improve liver function.
The study findings are at odds with the long-held belief that people with abnormal liver function have an increased risk of liver disease if they are prescribed statins.
Experts from University College London and Hippokration University Hospital in Greece published evidence in Online First showing significant cardiovascular benefit for patients with abnormal liver function tests (LFT), compared with patients who have normal liver tests.
The findings could lead to statins being used to treat patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which affects up to a third of adults in Europe and the US.
The researchers in London and Greece examined the results of a three-year experiment on 437 patients with moderately abnormal liver tests, with 227 being treated with a statin and 210 not.
Patients who started the trial with abnormal liver function tests gained the greatest cardiovascular benefit of all, with a 39% reduction in relative risk.
- View the results of the study: ‘Safety and efficacy of long-term statin treatment for cardiovascular events in patients with coronary heart disease and abnormalliver tests in the Greek Atorvastatin and Coronary Heart Disease Evaluation (GREACE) Study: a post-hoc analysis’