New research indicates that about twenty percent of heart patients do not respond to statin and this may be due to clogged arteries. These are findings that have been attributed to a number of facts, according to the researchers. The findings are also very important as far as heart condition is concerned.

A new study done by researchers led by Dr. Stephen Nicholls, deputy director of the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute in Adelaide, analyzed seven studies of 647 patients with heart disease taking statins. The researchers used ultrasound to compare the patient’s arteries before and after statin therapy and made follow-ups for 18 to 24 months. The study was published on February 26 online in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Most patients experienced a notable decrease in Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol except 20 percent whose LDL cholesterol decreased a little, remained the same or increased. The study further notes that those who showed no response had faster plaque buildup in their arteries than those who were responsive to statin therapy. The nonresponsive were more likely to suffer from heart attack or stroke. Reasons for poor response are not yet clear as the researchers noted. The findings of the study led by Dr. Stephen have great significance in statin guidelines.

Statin guidelines that must be observed

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles notes that statin therapy helps to reduce the plaque buildup as well as preventing heart attacks and strokes. He warns that response to statins varies among individuals. Successful statin therapy depends on how much LDL cholesterol is reduced.

Dr. Gregg, who did not participate in the study, agreed with its findings that suggest the importance of monitoring LDL reduction during statin therapy through evaluation of clinical response as Dr. Nicholls also noted.  The study analysis emphasizes on the need for new medications to target those patients who do not respond to statin therapy.

LDL cholesterol forms hard, thick plaque deposits narrowing the arteries and making them less flexible (Steven, 2015). Nicholls said that the guidelines recommend treating LDL cholesterol more aggressively to reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

Statin Therapy for people at risk of developing heart diseases

America Heart Association’s guidelines recommend statin therapy for individuals, aged 40-75 years without heart disease but with a risk for having heart attack or stroke within ten years. The guidelines also recommend therapy for individuals having a history of heart attacks, artery disease, stroke or mini stroke, angina or those who have had angioplasty. It is also important for those people above 21 years who have a capacity of LDL cholesterol of or above 190 mg/dl and people between the age of 40 and 75 having type 1 or 2 diabetes.