While heart attacks are more common in older adults, they can occur at any age, including in younger adults and even in rare cases, in children. Several factors can increase the risk of heart attack, including smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, lack of physical activity, family history of heart disease, and certain medical conditions.
It is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness, and seek immediate medical attention.
Bempedoic acid can save the day
New research shows that bempedoic acid, a cholesterol-lowering drug, can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks in patients who cannot tolerate statins due to side effects such as muscle pain, as The Washington Post reveals. The drug targets an enzyme in the liver, not in the muscles, which may explain its ability to reduce cholesterol and heart attack risk without causing muscle pain. In a study of nearly 14,000 patients, those who took bempedoic acid had a 23% lower risk of heart attack and a 19% lower risk of a surgical procedure to treat blocked arteries compared to those who took a placebo. While the drug may not replace statins as a first-line therapy, it offers an effective alternative for a large number of adults at high risk of heart attack which cannot or will not take a statin.
Steven Nissen from the Cleveland Clinic, who is also a lead author of the new study, stated as The Washington Post quotes:
Statins are still the cornerstone.
But if you cannot tolerate statins, and there are millions of people like that out there, then we’ve established an effective alternative for reducing morbidity.
The new research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.