Seeing as heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the United States, it’s only natural that we try our best to solve the mystery and find a better treatment or prevention method. But heart disease isn’t the only fatal epidemic making its way throughout our country.
In fact, strokes and diabetes are also some of the most dangerous conditions from which to suffer. Even worse is the fact that these conditions often seem to be associated with one another. Diabetes often leads to a cardiovascular incident (stroke or heart attack), and so a common drug is used to treat all of the aforementioned conditions, at least in some cases.
Peripheral artery disease
Described by some experts as the next cardiovascular epidemic, peripheral artery disease is a condition that affects as many as eight million people in the United States alone. Between twelve and twenty percent of all individuals over sixty years old suffer from the disease, and it’s none too pleasant.
The onset of the disease is usually marked by the narrowing and blocking of the arteries that transport blood and nutrients to the head, limbs, and organs. It is caused by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, and it most often in the legs than in the arms. Sadly, it often leads to the limbs having to be amputated.
A team of researchers led by the Emory University School of Medicine’s Shipra Arya looked at the health status and file information of more than 208,000 veterans suffering from peripheral artery disease. They then divided them into three groups depending on how their condition was approached after diagnosis.
The members of the first group were given high doses of statins when they were first diagnosed, the second group was given moderate doses of the diabetes medication, and the third group did not take any statins whatsoever. The researchers were pleasantly surprised by their results they found.
Results and benefits
A little over 5 years after the statin intake, the researchers went back to analyze the results. Those that took high doses of statins had a 33 percent lower chance of amputation and a 29 percent lower chance of death as compared to the group that did not take the drugs. So it turns out that according to the study, statins lower amputation risk from peripheral artery disease.
But this isn’t the only thing for which statins are so good. Previous studies have shown that the medicine cuts the chances of heart attack and heart disease deaths by 35 percent, that it shortens the recovery time after heart surgery, and that it also, for some reason, reduces the chance of dying from lung cancer.
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