Children's 'long-term benefits of statins'
Children who take statins to lower their cholesterol experience long-term benefits, researchers have said.
A 10-year follow-up of children who have been taking statin therapy for an inherited cholesterol disorder showed the treatment – the most commonly prescribed medicine in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation – improves the child's health.
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited disorder which can lead to cardiovascular disease.
In children with FH, atherosclerosis progression – where arteries become clogged up by fatty substances – happens before puberty. As a result, guidelines for FH treatment permit courses of statins in children as young as eight.
The study, by scientists in the Netherlands and published in the JAMA journal, included 214 children over a 10-year period.
The authors, with the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said that "more robust lipid-lowering therapy or earlier initiation of statins may be required" to restore arteries avert heart disease later in life in this high-risk group.