The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the results of the CLEAR-OUTCOMES trial for which Virginia Heart was a participating site, with Dr. Tariq Haddad as a Principal Investigator. This research trial studied an alternative option for patients who could not tolerate statin therapy and were at high risk for cardiovascular disease. For people with cardiovascular disease, statins are incredibly important for preventing heart attacks, strokes and cardiac events. Additional studies show that roughly 75% of patients who should be on statins are either not taking them or not taking the correct dose because of their experienced side effects.
The CLEAR-OUTCOMES trial proved to be effective by reducing fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarctions by 23% compared to the placebo, reduced LDL by 25%, reduced the inflammatory marker C-Reactive Protein (CRP) by 21% and reduced death from cardiovascular causes, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, or coronary revascularization by 13%. This was done through the use of bempedoic acid, an ATP citrate lyase inhibitor that reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and is associated with a low incidence of muscle-related adverse events. Since the drug does not act in skeletal muscle, it is not associated with the same potential muscle side effects that statins can cause in some patients.
The Virginia Heart Research Center, lead by Dr. Tariq Haddad, participated in this trial which allowed Virginia Heart patients to have access to this life-saving medication years before it was available to the public. Virginia Heart is dedicated to providing our patients the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research and obtain therapies that would otherwise not be available to them.