A new drug could prove to be more effective in achieving lower cholesterol levels, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, and doctors say healthy cholesterol levels lower a person's risk of the disease.
Currently, about 13 million Americans take statins to lower their bad cholesterol, or LDL.
But even people on statins still have heart attacks and strokes because lowering bad cholesterol is only part of the problem.
Good cholesterol, or HDL, needs to be raised and so far there had not been a medication that effectively does that until now.
"For patients that have struggled with low levels of good cholesterol, with low levels of HDL, I think this is encouraging," Dr. Stephen Nissen, with the Cleveland Clinic, said.
Nissen just completed a trial test using 400 people and the experimental medication known as Evacetrapib. Details of the study are featured in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"This new drug was able to raise levels of good cholesterol, of HDL cholesterol, by nearly 130 percent. The drug was also able to lower the bad cholesterol, LDL, by 36 percent," Nissen explained.
The drug did not increase blood pressure or produce any other adverse side effects.
It will now be tested in a much larger study and if approved, will be available in five years.