Scientists have claimed that drugs used to control cholesterol levels could also cut the risk of blood clots.
The University of Reading researchers have made blood clots smaller and reduced their stability by using the drugs on them. They said that the breakthrough could pave the way for new treatments.
The research, published in the journal Blood, has been championed by the British Heart Foundation.
The charity suggested that more effective treatments could be developed in light of the research.
While investigating how clots form, the team was surprised to find that the protein LXR played a role.
The protein is already established as a method of controlling cholesterol levels.
Clots were reduced in size by drugs which had an effect on the protein, the study found.
The British Heart Foundation’s associate medical director, Professor Jeremy Pearson, said: “Both anti-clotting and cholesterol lowering drugs are vital in reducing the chance of a heart attack or stroke in high-risk patients, but are not always effective and don’t suit all patients because of the risk of side-effects.
“This exciting discovery shows that drugs which lower cholesterol through targeting LXR protein can also reduce harmful blood clotting - potentially opening up paths towards new, more effective treatments.”
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