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New drug tackles heart attack risk

Initial clinical trials of a new type of drug to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease show it "safely" cuts bad cholesterol levels and promotes removal of cholesterol through the liver.

The new drug mimics the action of thyroid hymones that accelerates the body's natural ability to rid itself of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol.

Experts say the drug may offer an alternative for patients who cannot tolerate statins.

A study of 24 people found that after two weeks, bad cholesterol levels in those given the new drug decreased by an average of 40% compared with those who took a placebo.

Study author John Baxter said: "We need other types of drug to attack this problem.

"Using thyroid mimics is an entirely different approach, and I think one with great promise for treating high cholesterol and probably other conditions such as obesity and diabetes."

The research was published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Yay! Another new drug to treat the devastating effects of treating hypothyroidism by the TSH test/Synthroid standard. Why weren't these health issues a problem 50 years ago when low thyroid was treated adequately with Armour and by symptoms?" - Name and address supplied

"Yeah, my cholesterol went from 289 down to 170 and all I needed was thyroid. Armour thyroid probably works better than synthetics, though." - Name and address supplied

"Why not treat the thyroid deficiency that causes high cholesterol? Mine went from over 600 to under 200 with PROPER thyroid treatment." - Valerie Taylor, West Virginia, USA