Roughly six million people in Britain currently take statins to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease Picture: Filled
A VACCINATION to protect against high cholesterol could cut the risk of heart disease without statins, research suggests.

The first human trials have already started of an injection which protects against dangerously high levels of cholesterol.

Experts hope the vaccine, which is administered once and then followed by an annual booster, could be available on the NHS in as little as six years.

Early tests on mice, conducted at Leiden University in the Netherlands, showed that the vaccine, known as AT04A, cut cholesterol by 53% and reduced damage to blood vessels by 64%.

The company behind the technology hopes to target people who cannot control their cholesterol with statins - a high-risk group including many who have had heart attacks, as well as those at lower risk who do not want to take a daily pill or are worried about side effects.

Roughly six million people in Britain currently take statins to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. Another six million could benefit from the drugs but do not take them.

Oliver Siegel, chief executive of Austrian biotech company AFFiRis, said an annual injection could be attractive to patients, especially those already taking many other drugs. He said: “A once-yearly shot, at the same time as an annual check-up, could be an alternative to statins.” - Daily Mail