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Early Statins Help Children with Familial Hypercholesterolemia

Treatment as early as age 8 delays damage due to inherited hypercholesterolemia

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Early initiation of statin therapy can delay the onset of artery disease in children with familial hypercholesterolemia, Dutch researchers report in the Aug. 7 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Jessica Rodenburg, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed the effects of 20 or 40 milligrams of pravastatin on blood lipid levels and carotid intima-media thickness in 214 children aged 8 to 18 with familial hypercholesterolemia.

The researchers found that children who started statin treatment early had a smaller carotid intima-media thickness than their peers who did not.

"These data indicate that early initiation of statin treatment delays the progression of carotid intima-media thickness in adolescents and young adults," the authors write. "The present study shows for the first time that early initiation of statin therapy in children with familial hypercholesterolemia might yield a large benefit in the prevention of atherosclerosis in adolescence."

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