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Fibrates 'cut heart attack risk'

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Drugs used to lower cholesterol could reduce the risk of heart attacks by preventing the need for major surgery, research has claimed.

A study published in an Online First article and in an upcoming issue of The Lancet found that fibrates cut the risk of heart attacks by between 10% and 15%.

Lead researcher Dr Vlado Perkovic, of the George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia, stressed, however, that while the regimen could help prevent the need for procedures such as stenting and angioplasty, it had no statistically significant effect on stroke, all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, or sudden death.

He said: “The magnitude of the proportional risk reduction is more modest than that achieved with other vascular preventive therapies targeting lipids, blood pressure, and coagulation.

“For high-risk populations, a proportional risk reduction of 10% to 15% would translate into a worthwhile absolute risk reduction and a plausible number needed to treat.”

The study, a meta-analysis of previous research, reviewed 18 trials and 45,058 participants, encompassing 2,870 major cardiovascular events, 4,552 coronary events, and 3,880 deaths.

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