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Pharmacists Can Manage Some Chronic Conditions Effectively, Study Suggests

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 25, 2016 – Pharmacists may do a better job than doctors helping chronically ill patients manage their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels if they're allowed to direct people's health care, a new evidence review suggests. The review also found that pharmacists could manage chronic diseases with about the same efficiency as doctors. However, current evidence doesn't show whether pharmacists can actually improve a patient's overall health if they take over someone's care from a doctor, said study senior author Dr. Timothy Wilt. He's a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and a staff physician at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Wilt and his colleagues also couldn't show whether having a pharmacist manage your care can help you live longer or reduce symptoms caused by chronic ailments such as heart disease or diabetes. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Hypertriglyceridemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Genetic High-Cholesterol Condition More Common Than Thought

Posted 14 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 – Twice as many people as previously thought are genetically predisposed to develop dangerously high cholesterol levels, new research suggests. Familial hypercholesterolemia, as this condition is called, significantly ups the risk for an early heart attack. The study found it affects about one in every 250 American men and women, rather than one in 500. The new numbers don't reflect a problem on the rise, however, said study author Dr. Sarah de Ferranti, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Instead, the condition was previously "under-recognized," she explained. For those who have this potentially deadly condition, "it is extremely important to get early, consistent preventive care," de Ferranti said. "The key is for you and your clinician to understand and distinguish between mild to moderately high cholesterol that comes on in middle ... Read more

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

MS Patients May Be Prone to Other Chronic Illnesses, Study Finds

Posted 9 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 – People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are more likely to have other chronic health problems than those without the nervous system disorder, a new study indicates. Researchers looked at how common several chronic conditions – high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, chronic lung disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia – were in nearly 23,400 people newly diagnosed with MS and more than 116,600 people without MS. The MS patients had higher rates of all the conditions, with high cholesterol being the exception. Their rates of mental illness, particularly depression, were also high. Nineteen percent of MS patients and 9 percent of those without MS had depression, the study found. For many of the chronic conditions, there were significant gender differences. High ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Seizures, Hypertension, Asthma, Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Epilepsy, High Cholesterol, Heart Attack, Schizophrenia, Mania, Schizoaffective Disorder, Angina, Diabetic Neuropathy, Seizure Prevention, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Insulin Resistance, Diabetic Nerve Damage

Poor Sleep May Not Add to Cholesterol Problems, Study Finds

Posted 3 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2016 – Sleepless nights don't appear to be linked to an increase in cholesterol levels, a new study indicates. The exception seems to be people who take sleeping pills to treat insomnia, the researchers said. There has been speculation about a possible link between insomnia and heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol, because sleep apnea – another type of sleep disorder – has been linked to heart disease. From the large U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers behind the new study reviewed data on more than 19,000 people. They looked at information from 2005 to 2008. In people over age 20, the researchers found 11 percent had elevated levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Twenty-two percent had low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Just over 16 percent had high levels of triglycerides, another unhealthy blood fat, the study ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, High Cholesterol, Sleep Apnea, Hypertriglyceridemia, Drowsiness, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Jet Lag

Health Tip: Eating Red Meat

Posted 9 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Too much red meat can be bad for your heart and general health. Red meat tends to be higher in both saturated fat and cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends: In lieu of red meat, opt for skinless chicken or turkey, fish or beans. If you really love red meat, watch how much you eat. Stick to a healthy portion size, which for red meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Look for leaner cuts, possibly labeled as sirloin, round or loin. Before you cook, cut away visible fat. After cooking, pour off the fat from the pan before eating. Healthier ways of preparing meat include stewing, broiling or baking. Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Hypertriglyceridemia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

High-Dose Statins May Ease Macular Degeneration for Some

Posted 4 Feb 2016 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

'Obese' May Not Always Equal Unhealthy: Study

Posted 4 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 – Many overweight and obese Americans might be perfectly healthy when it comes to blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels – while many thin folks may not be the picture of good health, a new study contends. Using a government health survey, researchers found that nearly half of overweight U.S. adults were "metabolically healthy." That meant they had no more than one risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease – including high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol or triglyceride levels, elevated blood sugar, or high concentrations of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation in the blood vessels). Among obese adults, 29 percent were deemed healthy – as were 16 percent of those who were severely obese based on body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight to height). On the other hand, more than 30 percent of normal-weight Americans were ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Hypertriglyceridemia, Hypertensive Heart Disease

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, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Lescol, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome

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, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, 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, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

Screen All Kids for Cholesterol, Depression and HIV, Pediatricians' Group Says

Posted 7 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 – All kids should be screened for high cholesterol, depression and HIV, with some tests starting as early as age 9, a leading group of U.S. pediatricians recommends. The guidelines, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, are among some key steps the academy has recently taken to advise pediatricians on child health screenings. A summary of the recommendations is published Dec. 7 in the journal Pediatrics. A recurring theme is that screenings are recommended for all children in certain age groups – and not only for those who might be at increased risk. For example, all kids should be screened for high cholesterol between the ages of 9 and 11. At one time, screening was done only when children were considered to be high-risk, based on factors like family history, said Dr. Geoffrey Simon, who chairs the academy's Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine. But ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, High Cholesterol, HIV Infection, Dysthymia, Hypertriglyceridemia, Diagnosis and Investigation

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, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, 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, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, 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

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