Recent research suggests that one possible way of lowering the chances of amputation or death due to the Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) may result from to the use of cholesterol – lowering statins. Experts believe that these statins might play a significant role in helping the patients to avoid amputation or even death.
The risk of both conditions could surely reduce thanks to higher doses of cholesterol – lowering drug statin. Moreover, scientists from the medical field need to engage in a far-reaching research regarding PAD. According to Dr. Shipra Arya of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and lead author of the study, PAD might be already the future source of a cardiovascular epidemic.
Precisely 200,000 veterans suffering from PAD attended the survey to determine whether the use of cholesterol – lowering statins would be practical or not. PAD manifests as a narrowing of the peripheral arteries to the arms, legs, stomach, and head.
First, the required data was taken from the database of Veteran Affairs. This way the researchers knew which patient had already used statins and the amount of drug that they were taking at the beginning of the study.
After being divided into three groups, the researchers followed the veterans up for 5.2 years to understand the effect of the cholesterol – lowering drug. The participants from the first group were taking high amounts of statins. The ones from the second group were also taking the drug but in a lower dosage, whereas the third group consisted of veterans who were not taking any statins at all.
According to the study, PAD patients from the first group presented about 29% lower risk of death and more than 30% lower risk of amputation. On the other hand, the veterans from the second group, who were taking a lower dosage of statins, showed 22% lower risk of death and amputation.
Even so, Dr. Arya underlined that those findings do not prove but only suggest that it would be a good idea that PAD patients should take high-dose statins. The treatment might be right only as long as they can tolerate it, along with anti-platelet therapy, walking program, smoking cessation and other medical management used to lower the risk of death and amputation.
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