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Sunday
Nov212010

Cholesterol Drug May Reduce Heart Attack Risk in Kidney Patients

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.) -- A new study suggests Merck's cholesterol drug Vytorin, which is a combination of Zetia and Zocor, or simvastatin, may reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problems in kidney patients.

The drug was compared with a placebo and in the trial reduced first major incidence of stroke or heart attack by what experts call a statistically significant 16.1 percent.

The New Jersey-based company says because of the Study of Heart and Renal Protection, or "Sharp" investigation, it will seek regulatory approval for use of the drug in this way.  Vytorin is now on the market as a "bad cholesterol" reducing medication.

The Oxford University research involved more than 9,000 patients who had advanced to chronic or end-stage kidney disease, and many were on dialysis.  Kidney patients have an increased risk of heart failure or stroke.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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