Everybody take a statin and call me in the morning
Shana Rose Reporting
New recommendations on cholesterol drugs may now include you
Who should take statin drugs? The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association just released new guidelines for treating cholesterol that could mean millions more patients taking the medication. (About 25% of the population is already on these drugs.)
People at high risk for cardiovascular diseases caused by hardening and narrowing of the arteries that can lead to heart attack, stroke or death should be on statins they say. "They've been very, very effective. And used appropriately, with appropriate monitoring they are safe and good drugs," says Dr. Frank Smart, Chief of Cardiology at LSU Health Sciences Center. He says statins have made a dramatic difference in longevity, and on the number of heart attacks in the U.S. and they could continue to do even more good for patients.
The new recommendations focus to some extent on your LDL levels. "You certainly don't want to be obese, you don't want to be hypertensive. Those are independent risk factors. But at the same time it's unreasonable to assume that somebody with an extremely high LDL, or bad cholesterol, is going to be able to get it down to an acceptable target range with just diet."
The report also stresses the importance of lifestyle in managing cholesterol and preventing heart disease to stop America's number one killer. These drugs also help prevent strokes, the fourth biggest killer in the U.S.