We’re often warned to cut cholesterol to stay healthy.
But in a world-first, Australian researchers have found receiving a jab of a type of “good cholesterol” could save heart attack victims.
In a breakthrough, medical researchers have found an injection of laboratory modified HDL (high density lipoprotein), more commonly known as ‘good cholesterol’, could improve heart function if used immediately after an attack.
It increases the uptake of glucose which is needed to keep heart muscles alive, preventing permanent damage.
A team of researchers from Victoria’s Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has conducted pre-clinical trials.
“It means the heart then recovers from the heart attack much better and the function of the heart is improved,” Professor Bronwyn Kingwell said.
“We’ve found the reduction in the heart attack size with this drug is around 25 percent and there’s around a 20 percent improvement in the recovery of the heart muscle
Mother-of-two Sue Daperis, who survived two heart attacks in the past four years, has a family history of cardiovascular disease.
“I have three brothers that have passed away from heart failure and had this had been available, it would have helped to keep them alive,” Mrs Daperi said.
According to the Heart Foundation, 54,000 Australians suffer a heart attack every year, which is one person every ten minutes.
The next phase in the HDL research is human trials, with the aim to have the drug in use within five years.
It could eventually be administered to at-risk patients, possibly preventing a heart attack.