Breaking News
March 24, 2019 - Combined immunosuppression may be effective, safe in treating older patients with Crohn’s disease
March 24, 2019 - GSK sells health drinks arm, buys US cancer treatment firm
March 24, 2019 - Bacteria and innate immune factors in birth canal, cervix may be key to predicting preterm births
March 24, 2019 - IgG antibodies play unexpected role in atherosclerosis
March 24, 2019 - Sounds and vibrations are quite similar for the brain, finds new study
March 24, 2019 - Practices for Reducing COPD Hospital Readmissions Explored
March 24, 2019 - Could an eye doctor diagnose Alzheimer’s before you have symptoms?
March 24, 2019 - Enzyme inhibitor stops inflammation and neurodevelopmental disorders in mouse models
March 24, 2019 - Walk, Dance, Clean: Even a Little Activity Helps You Live Longer
March 24, 2019 - Americans used less eye care in 2014 versus 2008
March 24, 2019 - Study finds link between depression in 20s linked to memory loss in 50s
March 24, 2019 - New tool helps physiotherapy students to master complex fine motor skills
March 24, 2019 - The AMR Centre secures £2.3m funding boost
March 24, 2019 - Study examines effects of taking ondansetron during first trimester of pregnancy
March 24, 2019 - Researchers identify a more effective treatment for cancer
March 24, 2019 - Open-source solution for multiparametric optical mapping of the heart’s electrical activity
March 24, 2019 - New nanotechnology approach shows promise in treating triple negative breast cancer
March 24, 2019 - Trevena Announces Publication of APOLLO-1 Results in The Journal of Pain Research Highlighting Oliceridine’s Potential for Management of Moderate-to-Severe Acute Pain
March 24, 2019 - Maternal deaths following C-section 50 times higher in Africa compared to high-income countries
March 24, 2019 - Apple watch could detect irregular heart beat says study
March 24, 2019 - Queen Mary University of London’s BCI boosts radionuclide imaging capabilities with MILabs VECTor technology
March 24, 2019 - Girls should be encouraged to gain more ball skills, shows study
March 24, 2019 - Acute doses of synthetic cannabinoid can impair critical thinking and memory
March 24, 2019 - Presence of bacteria in urine does not always point to infection, shows study
March 24, 2019 - Scientists identify a new role for nerve-supporting cells
March 24, 2019 - Hidden differences between pathology of CTE and Alzheimer’s disease discovered
March 24, 2019 - Knowing causative genes of osteoporosis may open door to more effective treatments
March 24, 2019 - Toilet-seat based cardiovascular monitoring system getting ready to begin commercialization
March 24, 2019 - New model for intensive care identifies factors that send ill patients to ICU
March 24, 2019 - Recommendations Issued for HSCT in Multiple Myeloma
March 24, 2019 - Deep brain stimulation provides sustained relief for severe depression
March 24, 2019 - “Statistical significance” may soon be a thing of past?
March 24, 2019 - Researchers track effects of epigenetic marks carried by sperm chromosomes
March 24, 2019 - AHA News: Family Adopts Three Children With Three Different Heart Conditions
March 24, 2019 - Research into opioid painkillers could provide clues for safer drug development
March 23, 2019 - Lung cancer survivor recounts her lifetime struggles
March 23, 2019 - Radial and femoral approach for PCI achieve similar results in terms of survival
March 23, 2019 - Study sheds light on the optimal timing of coronary angiography in NSTEMI patients
March 23, 2019 - Excess hormones could cause a condition that can lead to blindness in women, study finds
March 23, 2019 - Dramatic shifts in first-time opioid prescriptions bring hope, concern
March 23, 2019 - Antidepressant drugs may not work when neurons are out of shape
March 23, 2019 - TTUHSC El Paso to establish endowed chair in neurology through a major grant
March 23, 2019 - New device approved by FDA for treating patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure
March 23, 2019 - People with peripheral artery disease have lower Omega-3 Index, shows research
March 23, 2019 - Trigger warnings have minimal impact on how people respond to content, shows research
March 23, 2019 - Gilead Announces Data From Two Studies Supporting Further Development of GS-6207, a Novel, Investigational HIV-1 Capsid Inhibitor as a Component of Future Long-Acting HIV Therapies
March 23, 2019 - Selfish genetic elements amplify inflammation and age-related diseases
March 23, 2019 - Study provides new understanding of how the brain recovers from damage caused by stroke
March 23, 2019 - CRISPR/Cas libraries could revolutionize drug discovery
March 23, 2019 - Allergic reaction during pregnancy may alter sexual-development in offspring’s brain
March 23, 2019 - Seeing through a robot’s eyes helps those with profound motor impairments
March 23, 2019 - Recent research shows that ease of breastfeeding after C-section differs culturally
March 23, 2019 - Newly discovered parameters offer more control over efficient release of drugs
March 23, 2019 - ‘De-tabooing’ of abortion- Women would like more support from health care community
March 23, 2019 - Anti-TB drugs can increase susceptibility to Mtb reinfection
March 23, 2019 - New survey indicates need of attention to neglected tropical diseases
March 23, 2019 - Innovative in vitro method to develop easy-to-swallow medicine for children and older people
March 23, 2019 - Sugary drinks could raise risk of early deaths finds study
March 23, 2019 - Lian wins ENGINE grant for stem-cell-based therapy to treat Type 1 diabetes
March 23, 2019 - Overall, Physicians Are Happy and Enjoy Their Lives
March 23, 2019 - Researchers discover how blood vessels protect the brain during inflammation
March 23, 2019 - CDC study shows modest improvement in optimal hospital breastfeeding policy
March 23, 2019 - Family-based prevention program to reduce alcohol use among older teens
March 23, 2019 - Remote monitoring of implanted defibrillators in heart failure patients prevents hospitalizations
March 23, 2019 - Appropriate doffing of personal protective equipment may reduce healthcare worker contamination
March 23, 2019 - Window screens can suppress mosquito populations, reduce malaria in Tanzania
March 23, 2019 - Researchers discover new biomarker for postoperative liver dysfunction
March 23, 2019 - Pregnancy history may be linked to cognitive function in older women, finds study
March 23, 2019 - Study shows ticagrelor is equally safe and effective as clopidogrel after heart attack
March 23, 2019 - FDA Approves First Drug for Postpartum Depression, Zulresso (brexanolone)
March 23, 2019 - New guidelines outline new treatment management for psoriasis
March 23, 2019 - Thermally abused cooking oil may promote progression of breast cancer
March 23, 2019 - High-fructose corn syrup fuels growth of colon tumors in mice
March 23, 2019 - Partnership aims at establishing best practices to promote diversity in clinical trials
March 23, 2019 - New study examines presence of microbes in tap water from residences, office buildings
March 23, 2019 - Early life trauma may affect brain structure, contribute to major depressive disorder
March 23, 2019 - NIH starts clinical trial of drug to treat cravings associated with opioid use disorder
March 23, 2019 - Cervix bacteria, immune factors could be a warning signal of premature birth, reports new research
March 23, 2019 - Worst-ever emergency care performance figures underscore the need to focus on staffing
March 23, 2019 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Cancer
New drugs could reduce risk of heart disease when added to statins

New drugs could reduce risk of heart disease when added to statins

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
New drugs could reduce risk of heart disease when added to statins
Credit: Medical Research Council

New drugs that lower levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) in blood could further reduce the risk of heart attack when added to statins. These new drugs, which are in various stages of development, could also reduce blood glucose levels and the risk of diabetes, according to a new genetic study from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge.

MRC scientists behind the research, published today in JAMA Cardiology, suggest these new drugs – lipoprotein lipase enhancers – could be paired with statins, the current gold standard for high cholesterol treatment, or other cholesterol lowering agents. Their findings, which stem from a type of genetic study which aims to simulate a clinical trial, hold promise for clinicians and pharmaceutical companies that are considering testing the efficacy of these novel drugs.

Dr Luca A. Lotta, Senior Clinical Investigator at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, said: “Our study suggests that these new triglyceride-lowering agents could give additional benefits to patients with heart disease when added to statins. This combination could prevent more heart attacks as well as reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

Heart disease is a significant problem in the UK, tied to more than a quarter of all deaths in the country, according to 2018 estimates. One of the major factors leading to heart disease is high levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad cholesterol”.

Statins are widely prescribed to lower LDL levels and are effective at preventing heart disease. Some people who are treated with statins will still encounter heart attacks, which has been partly linked to raised levels of triglycerides in their blood.

Normally, our bodies can break down triglycerides with a protein called lipoprotein lipase or LPL. In recent years, scientists and drug developers have tapped into this, developing several new agents that enhance the activity of this enzyme. However, these drugs are still in pre-clinical or early clinical stages of development.

In theory, these new heart drugs could be used in combination with statins and other cholesterol-lowering agents, but there hasn’t been a large-scale trial to show their efficacy. MRC scientists used genetic data to gain insights into their likely efficacy and safety in advance of a large-scale trial.

The new research studied the genetics of some 400,000 people from the UK Biobank, EPIC-InterAct, and EPIC-Norfolk studies. Scientists used an approach called Mendelian randomisation, which uses naturally occurring genetic differences to simulate the effects of a clinical trial, to study the likely effects of statins and these novel LPL-enhancing drugs.

Some people have variation in their DNA that naturally increases the effectiveness of LPL, mimicking the effect that would be observed if the LPL-enhancing drugs were used.

In this study, people who carried both triglyceride-lowering DNA variants in the LPL gene and cholesterol-lowering variants in several other genes (simulating the protective effect of statins) had a lower risk of heart disease compared with people with only one of either of these sets of DNA variants.

The researchers believe these drugs could mitigate some of the potential side effects of statins, too. For some people, statins can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes – 50 to 100 new cases for every 10,000 patients treated. The scientists found that those with LPL gene variants had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in all study groups, suggesting that these new drugs may improve blood glucose control when paired with statins.

Dr Lotta said: “We’re using genetics to gain insight and help to predict the likely result of future trials. Studies that simulate clinical trials are invaluable because large-scale trials are expensive, take years to conduct and considerable resources – scientists need strong evidence of a drug’s likelihood of success before it gets to the trial stage.”

Clinical trials are costly endeavours but emerging findings indicate the odds of successful drug development are increased when knowledge about these novel agents is bolstered by genetic studies. To empower these studies, the MRC, pharmaceutical companies, and other funders have invested in large genetic resources including the recent announcement of a consortium of companies to sequence the DNA of all participants of the UK Biobank, a study of 500,000 people from the general UK population.


Explore further:
New medications for diabetes management have additional heart benefits, study finds

More information:
Lucca Lotta et al. Association of Genetically Enhanced Lipoprotein Lipase–Mediated Lipolysis and Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol–Lowering Alleles With Risk of Coronary Disease and Type 2 Diabetes. JAMA Cardiol. Published online September 19, 2018. DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2018.2866

Journal reference:
JAMA Cardiology

Provided by:
Medical Research Council

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles