The results of a 2-year Dutch study revealed that statin drugs can safely reducehigh cholesterol levels and possibly reverse the clogging of arteries in children withinherited high cholesterol. Acondition known as familial hypercholesterolemia is foundin 1 of every 500 children worldwide and can lead to heart attacks at a very early age.
Cholesterol levels fell by 24% in the children aged 8 to 18 who received pravastatinfor 2 years. In addition, artery narrowing reversed by an average of 10micrometers, with no serious side effects. Three months before receiving thestatins, the participants had gone on a 3-month, low-fat diet, but the average LDLlevel had remained at 239?100 points higher than recommended. This may havebeen the first study to show that kind of reversibility.