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Akira Endo, researcher into statins that reduce heart disease, dies at age 90

Akira Endo, a Japanese biochemist whose research on fungi helped lay the groundwork for commonly prescribed drugs that lower a type of cholesterol that contributes to heart disease, died on June 5. He was 90 years old.

Chiba Kazuhiro, the president of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, where Endo was a professor emeritus, confirmed the death in a statement. The statement did not indicate a cause or say where he died.

Cholesterol, usually made in the liver, has important functions in the body. It is also a major contributor to coronary artery disease, a leading cause of death in the United States, Japan and many other countries.

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