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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

New drugs to lower cholesterol on the horizon

Since hitting the market a quarter-century ago, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs have become one of the most popularly prescribed medications. Giant trials have shown that the medications not only effectively lower “bad” LDL cholesterol in those with elevated levels but more importantly, lower the risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease or a stroke.

Where researchers once worried that statins might increase the risk of cancer, they’ve now found that statin users have a 15 percent lower risk of dying from cancer as well as other causes. In a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, Danish researchers examined medical records of all cancer patients in their country diagnosed between 1995 and 2007 and found that those who took statins had a smaller likelihood of dying over a 2.5 year period than those who didn’t.

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