Fibrate drugs can be used to reduce the risk of heart attacks by preventing the need for procedures such as angioplasty and stenting, research has suggested.
A study published in Online First and in an upcoming issue of the Lancet found that fibrate therapy, commonly used to reduce cholesterol, cut the risk of major cardiovascular events by between 10% and 15%.
The investigation was based on a wide-ranging review of 18 trials and 45,058 patients, encompassing 2870 major cardiovascular events, 4552 coronary events, and 3880 deaths.
Study leader Dr Vlado Perkovic, of The George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, highlighted that while a fibrate regimen reduced the danger of heart attacks, it had no statistically significant effect on stroke, all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, or sudden death.
He said: “A number of previous trials have reported inconsistent findings regarding the effect of fibrates on cardiovascular risk. This has caused a fair bit of uncertainty among clinicians, and is the reason why we conducted this large-scale systematic review.
“Combining the data from multiple studies has provided the statistical power to detect the likely real effects of fibrates.”
Copyright Press Association 2010