Your Community Newspaper - Larose, LA

Serving Raceland, Gheens, Lockport, Valentine, Larose, Cut Off, Galliano, Golden Meadow, Leeville, & Grand Isle

Sunday, September 17, 2017



Share This Article:

New guidelines urge wider use of cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce heart attacks, strokes

New guidelines urge wider use of cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce heart attacks, strokes

For decades, if you asked your doctor what your odds were of suffering a heart attack, the answer would turn on a number: your cholesterol level.

Now the nation's first new heart disease prevention guidelines in a decade take a very different approach, focusing more broadly on risk and moving away from specific targets for cholesterol.

The guidance offers doctors a new formula for estimating risk that includes age, gender, race and factors such as whether someone smokes.

And for the first time, the guidelines take aim at preventing strokes, not just heart attacks. Partly because of that, they set a lower threshold for using medicines to reduce risk. They recommend using statin drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor, and identify four groups of people they help the most.

The end result: Twice as many Americans — one-third of all adults — would be told to consider taking statins, which lower cholesterol but also reduce heart risks in other ways.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.