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Combination of a cholesterol-lowering statin and ezetimibe lowers risk of a heart attack or stroke

June 4, 2015
  • By Gregory Curfman, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Former Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Health Publishing

About the Author

photo of Gregory Curfman, MD

Gregory Curfman, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Former Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Health Publishing

Dr. Gregory Curfman is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor-in-chief of Harvard Health Publishing. He is also on the affiliated faculty of Harvard Law School. Before joining Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. … See Full Bio
View all posts by Gregory Curfman, MD


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June 8, 2015

I am curious if ezetimibe (Vytorin) works the same way plant sterols or stanols work. Products such as Benecol also work by blocking cholesterol absorption in the intestines.

Gene Bammel
June 6, 2015

my doctor took me off zetia and increased the statin level. Result: my LDL went higher, noticeably. With this article, I am inclined to go back onto Zetia….

Andy L
June 6, 2015

my total cholesterol yesterday was 97, with LDL of 15 and HDL of 75. I take 15 mg of Crestor and 2000 mg of Niaspan an I am 63. my ct score was 382 and have family history of heart disease. I am having some digestion issues and general tiredness . any connection? Can LDL be too low.

Robert Bramel
June 5, 2015

Lowering LDL to such extreme levels seems off the mark, especially since there are an unknown number of individuals like me, age 69, with a lifetime of extreme LDL (over 500mg/dl for the last eight years) and yet no plaque at all by EBCT and no family history of CVD going back four generations. Nobody knows why, and worse yet, almost nobody seems to want to find out.

Robert Bramel
June 5, 2015

A two percent reduction over seven years means for an individual that the annualized risk reduction is 0.28 percent. This may sound good to epidemiologists, but for an individual that isn’t even close to considering. It is between naive and dishonest to think that this new drug has no increased risk of side-effects.

June 5, 2015

Helpful and informative. It is good to have latest developments.

Jonathan Mayer
June 5, 2015

Can someone tell me if the medication Ezetimibe is the same as Zetia (10mg) ??

June 4, 2015

Very good article, I have a question, I am one of those people who cannot take statin drugs due to muscle soreness & weakness so I take Niaspan, would ezetimibe be beneficial for those of us who have issues with the statin drugs?

Thank you!

June 4, 2015

PCSK-9 inhibitors may be available in the next few years. There are also on-going trials.

Darayes Damania.
June 4, 2015

Very informative,and absorbing article.Also very helpful for people who have heart problems,but the most important thing is we are in touch with the new advances in the medical world.Thank you Harvard Education.

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