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Statin Drugs Could Help Heart Risk in Even More Patients, Docs Say

Image: Statin Drugs Could Help Heart Risk in Even More Patients, Docs Say

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 05:12 PM

Heart doctors and the American Heart Association Tuesday called for a dramatic increase in the use of statin drugs in an effort to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Physicians with the American College of Cardiology and the heart association suggested doubling the number of patients using statins, created to lower cholesterol, to about 70 million users, wrote the Los Angeles Times.

http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/testosterone-drugs-increase-heart/2013/11/06/id/535041 The Washington Post stated that about one-fourth of Americans over 45 already are treating cholesterol by taking statins, including such brands such as Lipitor and Zocor.

The American Heart Association stated in its announcement that doctors should treat obesity like a disease and cholesterol-lowering statins could prevent cardiovascular disease in more Americans than previously thought.

"These new guidelines represent the best of what scientific research can tell us about how to prevent heart disease and stroke," American Heart Association President Mariell Jessup said on the association's website. "These recommendations will help guide the clinical decisions doctors make every day to protect their patients from two of the nation’s biggest killers."

High cholesterol provides the greatest risk for heart attacks and strokes in patients. The two groups said in their Tuesday announcement that the use of statins in at-risk patients who are still relatively healthy could cut down their odds of a heart attack or stroke.

The new guidelines ask doctors to give more consideration to age, weight, blood pressure, and other factors, such as whether patients smoke or have diabetes, in relation to the statin guidelines, the Washington Post reported.

"It’s really about your global risk," Donald Lloyd-Jones, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, told the Washington Post. "There were a number of people at substantial risk who, under the old paradigm, were not being captured."

Lloyd-Jones was part of the committee of 20 experts who wrote the new guidelines.

The American Heart Association stated on its website that the guidelines are "based on rigorous, comprehensive, systematic evidence reviews originally sponsored by the federal National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute."

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