New Hope for Some People With Very High Cholesterol

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Jill Chadwick

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         People who have high cholesterol due to an inherited condition, not diet and lifestyle, are at an elevated risk for heart attacks, strokes and even death. A new drug tested at the University of Kansas Medical Center could lower that type of cholesterol, perhaps extending the lives of these patients. A researcher and professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center has co-authored a study on the proposed drug that has been published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

In the video, Patrick Moriarty, M.D. explains that the drug targets lipoprotein(a), a troublesome cholesterol transporter. About 20 percent of the world’s population has high lipoprotein(a) levels. “If you look at it globally, that’s more than a billion people who have this marker, placing them at risk for cardiovascular events,” he said.

Pending more tests and Food and Drug Administration approval, the drug called APO(a)-I could be used to dramatically lower the levels of lipoprotein(a). In the clinical trial, those who took APO(a)-I weekly for six months had an amazing 80 percent reduction in their lipoprotein(a).