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Using Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Effectively

Based on findings of a recent study researchers say Lipid-lowering drugs can be started when a patient is in the hospital // or at a follow-up appointment with a doctor.

Researchers looked at the relationship between when lipid-lowering therapy is started during a hospital stay vs. in an outpatient setting and its long-term use. Patients from 69 centers in the United States and Canada were involved in the study, 175 patients were all discharged taking cholesterol-lowering therapy and 1,951 were discharged without the therapy. Researchers then looked at who was put on the therapy and how long they adhered to the drug regimen.

After six months, 77 percent of the patients who started taking the drugs before they left the hospital continued taking the medicine compared to 25 percent of those who started the therapy after leaving the hospital. Researchers say they found that initiation of lipid lowering agents before discharge was the most important independent predictor of their use at follow-up and patients in whom lipid-lowering therapy was initiated before discharge were nearly three times as likely to be taking these agents six months later.

Thus researchers say more studies looking at other factors that can influence the long-term use of Lipid lowering drugs need to be done.

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