During the recent annual American College of Cardiology meeting, researchers announced that adding a drug that stalls cholesterol absorption from the gut to treatment with a statin-lowering drug, which stops cholesterol production in the liver, is more beneficial than statin treatment alone in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
The EASE trial included 3030 patients on stable doses of statins who had not reached LDL target levels.Two thirds of the participants were randomized to take statins plus Zetia (ezetimibe) or statins only for 6 weeks. The results of the trial showed that combination therapy lowered LDL cholesterol by 6%, as opposed to a 3% reduction with single therapy, in a 6-week comparison of the 2 treatments. Lead author Thomas A. Pearson, MD, PhD, noted that combination therapy was effective across ages, genders, and races. In fact, 71% of the total group on combination therapy achieved target LDL cholesterol levels.