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Cholesterol Drug Benefits High-Risk Heart Patients

By Miriam E. Tucker , ,

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A cholesterol-lowering injection given every two weeks may help prevent heart attacks in certain people with diabetes who have an especially high risk for heart problems. A study compared the drug alirocumab (Praluent) with a placebo in nearly 19,000 people who had experienced a heart attack or heart-related chest pains within the past year, including 5,444 with diabetes and 8,246 with prediabetes. All participants were taking statins, which also lower cholesterol. Those with diabetes in the alirocumab group experienced 2.3 percent fewer heart events (including heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths) over about three years compared with the placebo group. Alirocumab is expensive (about $700 to $1,400 a month without insurance), so you and your doctor will need to weigh the pros and cons. And you’ll want to check whether your insurance covers it. 
Source: The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, published online July 1, 2019

 

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