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High-Dose Statins May Ease Macular Degeneration for Some

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 – High doses of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs – medicines such as Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor – may help people with a common eye disease called macular degeneration, a small study suggests. In the early stage clinical trial, a team from Harvard Medical School assessed the effects of statin treatment in people with the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD affects more than 150 million people worldwide. The dry form is much more common and accounts for about 85 percent of cases, according to the researchers. Effective treatments are available for the wet form of AMD, but not the dry form, so dry-form AMD remains the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. In AMD, fat deposits form under the retina, so that patients develop blurring or blindness in the center of their vision. In the study, 23 patients with dry-form AMD were given ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Macular Degeneration, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Pitavastatin, Altoprev

Statins May Reduce Heart Risks Linked to Sleep Apnea: Study

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 – A new discovery about the way sleep apnea may raise the risk of heart disease also suggests that taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might reduce that risk, according to a new study. Sleep apnea is a common disorder that involves irregular breathing while asleep, with oxygen intake dropping frequently for brief periods. The condition can triple a person's risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other heart problems, said study author Dr. Sanja Jelic, an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Statins such as Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin) are already taken by millions of Americans to reduce their risk of heart disease. "If the beneficial effects of statins on blood vessel health in patients with obstructive sleep apnea is confirmed in larger clinical trials, obstructive sleep apnea may ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Sleep Apnea, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Lescol, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome

Health Tip: Understanding Risk Factors for Hardening Arteries

Posted 25 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Atherosclerosis, the medical term for hardening of the arteries, occurs when the arteries narrow and become rigid. Left undetected or untreated, one or more of these vessels may become completely blocked. The American Academy of Family Physicians explains these risk factors: Having high blood pressure. Having high cholesterol. Being diabetic. Being overweight or obese. Using tobacco. Eating an unhealthy diet. Getting insufficient exercise. Having family members with heart disease. Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension, Smoking, High Cholesterol, Smoking Cessation, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Acute Coronary Syndrome, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Acute Coronary Syndrome - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Healthy Habits Help Reduce Risk of Heart Failure, Study Finds

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 – Following seven healthy habits might reduce your risk of heart failure, a new study says. "Even though there is awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, many people don't act on those messages," said senior study author Vanessa Xanthakis, an assistant professor of medicine and biostatistics at Boston University. The study included just over 3,200 Americans, average age 59, who were followed for up to 12 years. During that time, 188 developed heart failure. This is a condition where the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Those who had high scores on the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 checklist for a healthy heart had a lower risk of heart failure, the study found. The measures on the checklist are: manage blood pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, get physically active, eat better, lose weight and ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Pre-Diabetes, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hypertensive Heart Disease

U.S. Task Force Backs Statins for Those 40 to 75 at Heightened Heart Risk

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs should be used to prevent a first heart attack or stroke in certain at-risk patients, according to a draft recommendation released Monday by the nation's leading experts in preventive medicine. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said statins can provide maximum preventive benefits for adults 40 to 75 years old who have an existing risk factor for heart disease and at least a 10 percent or greater risk of a heart attack or stroke sometime within the next 10 years. The independent panel added that people with a 10-year risk of heart attack and stroke between 7.5 percent and 10 percent might also benefit from statins, and should discuss the matter with their doctor. "Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death, and people with no signs or symptoms or past history of cardiovascular disease can still be at risk," said ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL), Lescol XL

U.S. Task Force Stays Neutral on Cholesterol Screening for Kids

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 – There's not enough evidence to recommend screening all children and teens for high cholesterol, experts say. It's not clear if such screening up to age 20 reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in a draft recommendation released Monday. This is unchanged from a 2007 recommendation. "There is currently not enough research to determine whether screening all average-risk children and adolescents without symptoms leads to better cardiovascular health in adulthood," task force vice chair Dr. David Grossman said in a news release from the task force. "In addition, the potential harms of long-term use of cholesterol-lowering medication by children and adolescents are not yet understood," Grossman added. The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor

One in Five U.S. Kids Over Age 5 Has Unhealthy Cholesterol: CDC

Posted 10 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2015 – Twenty-one percent of American children and teens have some form of "abnormal" blood cholesterol reading that leaves them at heightened risk for heart disease and stroke as they reach adulthood. That's the conclusion of a review of 2011-2014 federal health data compiled by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, slightly more than 13 percent of kids had unhealthily low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol – the kind that actually might help clear out arteries. The CDC says just over 8 percent had too-high levels of other forms of cholesterol that are bad for arteries, and more than 7 percent had unhealthily high levels of "total" cholesterol. Obesity helped drive these trends, the CDC said. For example, more than 43 percent of children who were obese had some form of abnormal cholesterol reading, compared to less than 14 ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Weight Loss, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

Too Few Americans Are Taking Needed Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs: CDC

Posted 3 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2015 – Nearly half of American adults who should be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs don't, federal government researchers report. They also found that blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites to take medications that lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. "Nearly 800,000 people die in the U.S. each year from cardiovascular diseases – that's one in every three deaths – and high cholesterol continues to be a major risk factor," said Carla Mercado, a scientist in the division for heart disease and stroke prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This study reveals opportunities to reduce existing [racial] disparities through targeted patient education and cholesterol management programs," she said in a CDC news release. The CDC study team analyzed national data from 2005 to 2014 and found that nearly 37 percent of U.S. adults – ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease

Negative News on Statins Tied to Dropped Prescriptions

Posted 2 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 – News reports on the downsides of statins may push some people to stop taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a new study hints. The findings, published Dec. 2 in the European Heart Journal, cannot prove that media stories drive statin users to give up their prescriptions. Instead, Danish researchers found a broad correlation between "negative" media coverage and people's odds of quitting a statin within six months of their first prescription. But even without a clear cause-and-effect connection, experts said it's reasonable to assume that media stories had an influence over some statin users in the study. It rings true to Dr. Thomas Whayne Jr., of the Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky. "I've seen this happen a lot," said Whayne, who was not involved in the study. "News stories come out, and you have patients saying, 'I'm not going to take ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Muscle Pain, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Zetia, Pre-Diabetes, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Simcor

Cutting Sugar From Diet Boosts Kids' Health Immediately: Study

Posted 27 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2015 – Cutting most of the sugar from a child's diet can immediately improve health, even if the diet still contains the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as before, a new study suggests. Researchers put a group of 43 obese kids on a nine-day diet that severely restricted sugar intake, but replaced added sugars with starchy foods to maintain the children's intake of calories and carbs. That diet caused immediate reductions in their high blood pressure and improvement in their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, the investigators found. "Every aspect of their metabolic health got better, with no change in calories," said study author Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco. "This study definitively shows that sugar is metabolically harmful not because of its calories or its effects on weight. Rather, ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Hypertriglyceridemia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hypertensive Heart Disease

During Menopause, 'Good' Cholesterol May Lose Protective Effect on Heart

Posted 16 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 16, 2015 – HDL cholesterol is commonly called the "good" cholesterol, but new research suggests that it could be harmful to women going through menopause. The new study finds that rather than helping to inhibit the formation of dangerous plaque in the arteries, HDL cholesterol may increase its buildup during menopause. This process is known as hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, and can lead to heart trouble. "This was surprising," said lead researcher Samar El Khoudary, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. "We know that the good cholesterol is supposed to protect women," she said. And, before menopause, good cholesterol does help protect against heart disease, El Khoudary said. But during menopause, HDL cholesterol seems to add to the plaque buildup, she explained. "This was independent of other factors such as body weight and ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Hypertriglyceridemia, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Perimenopausal Symptoms, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Hyperlipoproteinemia

Study Sees Link Between High Cholesterol and Tendon Trouble

Posted 16 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 16, 2015 – High cholesterol levels may increase your risk of tendon problems and pain, a new study suggests. Tendons are the tough fibers connecting the body's muscles and bones. The researchers suspect cholesterol buildup in immune cells can lead to chronic low-level inflammation, prompting tendon abnormalities and pain. They analyzed 17 studies published between 1973 and 2014 that included more than 2,600 people. Compared to those with normal tendon structure, people with abnormal tendon structure had higher total cholesterol. They also had higher levels of "bad" low-density cholesterol, lower levels of "good" high-density cholesterol, and higher levels of blood fats called triglycerides, the researchers found. People with high cholesterol levels were also much more likely to have tendon injuries, higher levels of musculoskeletal-related pain in their arms, and thicker ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Tendonitis, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Hyperlipoproteinemia

Not All Trans Fats Harm the Heart, German Study Contends

Posted 22 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2015 – For years, trans fats have been viewed as bad for the heart, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last summer to ban artificial trans fats from food products. But a new study suggests that not all trans fats are equal, and some might even be good for you. The German researchers found that naturally occurring trans fats found in dairy and meat products might actually help protect the heart, while low levels of artificial trans fats did not seem to pose a health risk. "We now show that, at these low levels, industrially produced trans fats are not hazardous to health," said senior study author Clemens von Schacky, head of preventive cardiology at the University of Munich. "Come to think of it, it is a fairly common phenomenon: Some things are toxic at high levels, but we can live with them at low levels." The findings were published in the Sept. 23 ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Hypertriglyceridemia, Fat Supplement, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Microlipid

Could a Texting App Help Your Heart?

Posted 22 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2015 – Regular text message reminders can help people with heart disease stick to a healthier lifestyle, Australian researchers report. Patients who received automated text messages throughout their week saw improvements in their "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight, the study found. The text messages even helped many quit smoking, the researchers added. The clinical trial provides some of the first evidence that simple, low-cost mobile communications programs and apps can help people adopt healthier habits, said study author Clara Chow, an associate professor at the University of Sydney Medical School and acting director of the cardiovascular division at the George Institute for Global Health. "In our fast-paced society, patients are leaving hospitals so quickly now after suffering a heart attack. They are given so much information in hospital, ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Hypertriglyceridemia, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Sharp Spike Seen in Statin Use in Elderly Without Heart Disease

Posted 24 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2015 – There has been a sharp rise in the use of cholesterol-lowering statins among elderly patients who do not have heart disease, a new study finds. But there is little research to guide the use of these medicines in this group of patients, the investigators added. In the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 13,000 people who took part in an annual national survey between 1999 and 2012. "We found high rates of statin use in primary prevention among patients older than 79 years old who didn't have vascular disease," lead investigator Dr. Michael Johansen, a family medicine physician at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, said in a university news release. Rates of heart disease among the very elderly people rose from about 28 percent in 1999-2000 to nearly 44 percent in 2011-12, but this increase was believed to be related to survey methods. Over ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Fluvastatin, Altoprev

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