A study from Queen Mary University of London and the Universities of Oxford and Sydney suggests that starting cholesterol-lowering statin therapy early may have long-term benefits for people at high risk of developing heart disease. The study, which was presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC 2022) conference in Barcelona, maintains that the use of the drug – the most popular cholesterol-lowering lipid modifier – can reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease and Stroke in 25%.
“Discontinuation of statin treatment, unless advised by a doctor, does not appear to be a wise option”, highlights Dr Runguo Wu, the author of the research from Queen Mary University, emphasizing that There are reports that an early interruption of this treatment “may substantially reduce protection against heart disease.” According to the researchers, “exaggerated claims” about the side effects of statins may be behind their “under-use by people at increased risk of heart disease.”
Using a microsimulation model with data from 118,000 Cholesterol Treatment Trial Trials (CTT) trial participants and 500,000 UK patients, the study estimated the effects of statin therapy if people continued treatment for life, if they did it for 80 years. of age or if they delayed its onset. before the age of 45.
Although researchers do not know “when treatment should be started and for how long to optimize its effects”, according to Runguo Wu, this study confirms that “people with high cardiovascular risk start treatment”. start accumulating profits and are more likely to lose than those with less risk if they delay it.”
a mixed case count
According to the study, stopping treatment at age 80 eliminates much of the potential benefit, especially in people with low cardiovascular risk. People who start taking at age 50 but stop at age 80 may lose up to 36% of benefit if they have a low cardiovascular risk and if it is higher, because “high-risk” People start benefiting first”.
Although a five-year delay in taking statins would have little effect, with lower cardiovascular risk in people under 45, discontinuation in those under 45 years of age at high risk would mean a 7% loss of potential benefit. There are also gender differences, as the risk is lower for women, the more harmful it is for them to stop treatment.