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Jan 3, 2012
Popular cholesterol drugs may also be anticoagulants
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Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have identified a molecular pathway that creates abnormal blood clotting in people with high cholesterol and controlled it with statins, a common type of cholesterol drug. The researchers found that elevated levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol induces a molecule called tissue factor, which triggers clotting. The researchers found that animals and humans with high LDL cholesterol had more tissue factor in circulating blood, making them more susceptible to clotting. Simvastatin, a common statin used to treat high cholesterol, reduced levels of oxidized low density lipoprotein and circulating tissue factor. Additionally, a study author noted that statins “only target the bad...tissue factor, not the good one used in normal clotting, and, therefore, should not be associated with the increased bleeding risk that is a typical side effect of anticoagulant drugs currently on the market.”

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