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www.wmfd.com - The American Heart Association is issuing new guidelines on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. }}" />

   
 
 
New Cholesterol Guidelines Will Impact Millions

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 11/16/2013 The American Heart Association is issuing new guidelines on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. And twice as many Americans might find themselves with a prescription for statins. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains why. If you've heard it once from your doctor, you've probably heard it a thousand times, know your numbers. Blood pressure should be 120 over 80 or less. Your BMI should be under 25. And how about your bad cholesterol level? That should be under 100. But new guidelines released by the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology, say that last number isn't so important anymore. Why? They say regardless of what your numbers are, in most cases, you might need to be on a cholesterol-lowering Statin drug. "The new guidelines greatly expand the number of Americans that would be eligible to recieve Statin drugs," says Dr. Steven Nissen, Chair of Cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic. "We would estimate from about 36-million previously to as many as 72-million now." So what are the new guidelines? The first two are simple. If you have heart disease, you get a Statin regardless of your cholesterol numbers. Have diabetes Type 1 or Type 2? You get a Statin too. The other two are a bit more complex. If you have genetically high cholesterol and your bad cholesterol is over 190, you may get a prescription. And if you're between 40 and 75 and your 10-year risk of heart disease is over 7-and-a-half percent, you'll get one too. And although Statins do have some side effects, including muscle pain, weakness and soreness, Nissen says the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. "The most compelling evidence is that they prevent heart attack, and probably stroke as well," says Dr. Nissen. "The drugs that we use for treating cholesterol are safe. They have adverse affects, but the serious adverse affects are uncommon." The new guidelines are finally catching up to the latest science on just how many lives could be impacted by these medications.
   
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