Studies support broader use of cholesterol-lowering statins

The latest guidelines used to determine who should take a cholesterol-lowering statin to prevent heart disease appear to be more accurate and cost-efficient than the previous guidelines. That’s according to two studies led by Harvard researchers, both published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. For many years, the main deciding factor in who needed to take a statin was the level of an individual’s harmful low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). Updated guidelines published in 2013 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association moved away from LDL and instead recommend a statin for men and women between the ages of 40 and 75 who have a 7.5% or higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years. (You can use this online calculator to estimate your own risk; you’ll need your total and HDL cholesterol values and your blood pressure.) Commonly prescribed statins include atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor). Soon after the new guidelines were released, two Harvard experts argued that they went too far, citing concerns that the calculator often overestimated the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Cardiologist Paul Ridker and epidemiologist Nancy Cook made the case that by following the new guidelines, many healthy adults would end up taking a statin but get little benefit from the drug while running the risk of developing side effects such as muscle pain and diabetes. Bo...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Drugs and Supplements cholesterol high cholesterol statins Source Type: news

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Medtronic seems to be on a roll when it comes to innovation. The Dublin-based company has received the greenlight from FDA for an expanded indication of the Kyphon HV-R Bone Cement. Under the new indication, Medtronic can market Kyphon for the fixation of pathological fractures of the sacral vertebral body using sacral vertebroplasty or sacroplasty. Sacral insufficiency fractures (SIFs) are a common cause of debilitating back pain. SIFs mimic the symptoms of lumbar spine pathology. Studies show more than two-thirds of patients diagnosed with SIFs aren't able to associate their pain with a traumatic event. As a result, phys...
Source: MDDI - Category: Medical Devices Authors: Tags: Orthopedics Source Type: news
Source: BMJ Comments - Category: General Medicine Source Type: forums
This study indicates that frailty and other age-related diseases could be prevented and significantly reduced in older adults. Getting our heart risk factors under control could lead to much healthier old ages. Unfortunately, the current obesity epidemic is moving the older population in the wrong direction, however our study underlines how even small reductions in risk are worthwhile." The study analysed data from more than 421,000 people aged 60-69 in both GP medical records and in the UK Biobank research study. Participants were followed up over ten years. The researchers analysed six factors that could impa...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
In this study, we asked people in an open-ended way about their desire for longer life: Would you like to have more time? What age would you like to become? This was something more specific than asking about a preference for survival without reference to any length of time; about one's plans for the future; or whether people see the future as open or limited, as in studies of future time perspective. Our attempt was to discover whether there were preferred temporal spans with which older adults framed their futures and plans. The two-question series about extra years and desired age ("How old would you like to ...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
This report captures the state of the research community in a nutshell: progress in the sense that ever more scientists are willing to make the treatment of aging the explicit goal of their research, but, unfortunately, there is still a long way to go in improving the nature of that research. It is still near entirely made up of projects that cannot possibly produce a robust and large impact on human life span. The only course of action likely to extend life by decades in the near future is implementation of the SENS vision for rejuvenation therapies - to repair the molecular damage that causes aging. Everything else on th...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
Carrie Fisher died early Tuesday morning, four days after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. The actress and author, best known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” franchise, was 60 years old.  Experts say that Fisher’s death highlights an important reality about heart disease: It is the leading cause of death among men and women alike in the U.S. While heart disease encompasses many different conditions, a heart attack occurs when coronary arteries become blocked and oxygenated blood can’t reach the heart. About 735,000 Americans have hea...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
This study showed that providing an effective low-cost statin therapy to 10,000 patients for five years would prevent major cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, strokes and coronary artery bypasses in 1,000 people with preexisting vascular disease, as well as 500 people who are at increased risk but have not yet had a vascular event. By contrast, only 50 to 100 cases of symptomatic adverse events would be expected over the same period, as well as 50 to 100 new cases of diabetes, five cases of myopathy and between five and ten haemorrhagic strokes. Should statins be more widely used? Currently, about six million peo...
Source: Arthritis Research UK - Category: Rheumatology Source Type: news
This study builds on preliminary findings from the first phase of the INTERSTROKE study, which identified ten modifiable risk factors for stroke in 6,000 participants from 22 countries. The full-scale INTERSTROKE study included an additional 20,000 individuals from 32 countries in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia, and sought to identify the main causes of stroke in diverse populations, young and old, men and women, and within subtypes of stroke. To estimate the proportion of strokes caused by specific risk factors, the investigators calculated the population attributable risk for each factor (PAR; an esti...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
High cholesterol is a key culprit in the development of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States and many other developed countries. We know that lowering cholesterol helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. But an unanswered question remains: how low should you go? New research published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that lower is better. Cholesterol and cardiovascular disease Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream in two main particles: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL scavenges cholesterol from the bloodstream and fro...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Drugs and Supplements Heart Health cholesterol ezetimibe Source Type: news
Studies have shown that aspirin, the age old remedy for pain and fever, also thins the blood. Because of this property, it can also help to lower the chances of a heart attack or a stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain. And, although research has found that it only works in certain people (specifically, those with a history of heart attack or stroke) many Americans are inappropriately taking daily, low doses of aspirin as a preventative measure. In fact, researchers have found that about 12 percent of the of nearly 69,000 U.S. adults taking aspirin on a long-term basis should not have received the prescription in the ...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
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