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Terminally Ill Can Do Without Statins, Study Finds

Posted 5 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 – Halting the use of cholesterol-lowering statins in terminally ill patients may improve their quality of life, a new study indicates. These findings suggest that care for terminally ill patients can be improved by taking them off medication primarily meant to prevent other health problems, the study authors said. "For patients with shorter life expectancy, greater concern about pill burden, and more comfort-oriented goals of care, physicians may endorse discontinuing statins as a means to reduce the number of medications without apparent harmful effects on survival or quality of life," wrote study first author Dr. Jean Kutner, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and colleagues. Statins are among the most widely used medications in the United States, and 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries take the drugs. The benefits of ... Read more

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Can Statins Help Improve Prostate Cancer Survival?

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may slow down prostate cancer in men who are also taking medication to reduce their levels of male hormones, according to new research. Taking a statin alongside androgen deprivation therapy slowed the progress of prostate cancer by about 10 months, said the study's lead author, Dr. Lauren Christine Harshman, an assistant professor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. "Patients on a statin have a significantly longer time to progression," Harshman said. The study's findings were presented recently at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando, Fla. Research presented at meetings is generally viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. The study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between statins and prostate cancer survival, just an association. ... Read more

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Statins Linked to Raised Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may significantly increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study from Finland suggests. Researchers found that statins were associated with an almost 50 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even after adjusting for other factors. Statins appear to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in several ways, the researchers said. One is that the drugs can increase a person's insulin resistance, and the other is that the cholesterol-lowering drugs seem to impair the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin, according to the report. Commenting on the study, Dr. Ronald Goldberg, director of the Lipid Disorder Clinic and associate director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami, said the researchers "show evidence that statins increased insulin resistance, and that the people ... Read more

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Poor Response to Statins May Mean Clogged Arteries

Posted 26 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 – Twenty percent of people with heart disease don't respond to cholesterol-lowering statins and may have dangerously clogged arteries, researchers have found. A new study found these people experienced little or no reduction in the "bad" cholesterol that contributes to artery-blocking plaque, making heart attack or stroke more likely. The finding has important implications for statin guidelines, said lead researcher Dr. Stephen Nicholls, deputy director of the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute in Adelaide. "Cholesterol levels should continue to be monitored to ensure we are moving in the right direction," said Nicholls. "It is simply not good enough to prescribe [a statin] and move on." The analysis also underscores the need for new medications to target plaque buildup in statin nonresponders, the study said. Nicholls said many patients – ... Read more

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Nearly All Diabetics Should Be on Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs: Experts

Posted 23 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 – New guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) call for giving the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins to all people with diabetes to help prevent heart disease. These new standards bring the association in line with the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, which also recommend giving low- or high-dose statins to all people at risk for heart disease, including people with diabetes. "We agree that the decision to start a statin should be based on a patient's risk," said Dr. Richard Grant, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and chairman of the ADA's professional practice committee. "It turns out that patients with diabetes have the same risk as people with heart disease, so all of our patients need to be on statins," he said. However, Grant said some people with diabetes may not need ... Read more

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Number of Americans Taking Statins Keeps Rising: CDC

Posted 23 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 – More Americans than ever are taking cholesterol-lowering medications, federal health officials reported Tuesday. The percentage of adults aged 40 and older taking drugs that combat high cholesterol rose from 20 percent to 28 percent between 2003 and 2012, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, the use of statins increased from 18 percent to 26 percent, making them most commonly used cholesterol-lowering drugs. By 2011-12, 93 percent of adults using a cholesterol-lowering medication used a statin. The CDC researchers said they couldn't speculate on the reasons for the increase. But one cardiologist pointed out that statins have been shown to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and premature death in men and women at risk for heart disease and stroke. And "heart disease and stroke remain the leading cause of illness and ... Read more

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Certain Antibiotic/Statin Combos May Be Unsafe Mix: Study

Posted 22 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 – Seniors who take the antibiotic Biaxin (clarithromycin) along with certain types of cholesterol-lowering statins are at risk for drug interaction side effects that can lead to hospitalization or even death, a new study suggests. "Physicians need to be made aware of this newly described dangerous interaction and consider alternative antibiotics to prevent toxicity that could be life-threatening," said expert Dr. Kevin Marzo, chief of cardiology at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. He was not involved in the new study, which appears in the Dec. 22 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. According to the study authors, more than 1 billion people worldwide are now estimated to use statins. They added that while drug-drug interactions are uncommon, some types of medications can affect the way a statin is metabolized in the body. Because they ... Read more

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Daily Statin Might Raise Your Risk for Cataracts: Study

Posted 8 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 – Taking a statin to lower your cholesterol may raise your risk of developing cataracts, Canadian researchers report. While statins such as Zocor, Crestor and Lipitor protect many people from heart attack and stroke, they may raise the odds of developing the vision problem by 27 percent, the researchers report. But the risk of developing cataracts – a clouding of the lens of the eye – is insignificant compared with the benefits of these drugs, said lead researcher Dr. G.B. John Mancini. "The benefits of statins are far outweighed by any small risk for cataract surgery," said Mancini, a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. "However, the indication for statin use should be solid from the outset and fully understood by patients," he added. Mancini said this study can't prove that statins cause cataracts. "Careful observations in ... Read more

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Statins Won't Help Protect Bones, Study Finds

Posted 1 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 – The cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins have been touted by some as capable of reducing the risk for broken bones. But, it appears that's not the case, a new study finds. In the study, almost 18,000 older adults were selected to take either the statin Crestor (rosuvastatin) or an inactive placebo. Of the 431 fractures during the study, 221 were among those taking Crestor and 210 were among people taking the placebo, the researchers found. "Our study does not support the use of statin drugs in the doses used for heart disease for the prevention of bone fractures," said lead researcher Dr. Jessica Pena, an assistant professor of cardiology at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Earlier studies have suggested that statins used to treat heart disease may also reduce the risk of fracture, and researchers have ... Read more

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Most Seniors Could Use Statins Under New Guidelines

Posted 24 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 24, 2014 – Most older Americans qualify for treatment with cholesterol-lowering statins under new guidelines intended to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, a new study shows. Guidelines for the treatment of blood cholesterol released late last year by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association target people most likely to benefit from taking statins such as Zocor (simvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin). The new study of more than 6,000 black and white Americans aged 66 to 90 found that 70 percent were eligible for statin therapy, including 97 percent of those aged 66 to 75 and all of the men. The findings appear in a research letter published Nov. 24 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. "The guidelines are a significant change from prior guidelines that relied heavily on levels of bad cholesterol to determine who to treat," letter ... Read more

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Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs May Help After Certain Strokes

Posted 23 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 – People using cholesterol-lowering drugs while in the hospital for a hemorrhagic stroke – which causes bleeding in the brain – were more than four times more likely to survive than people who weren't taking the drugs, according to a new study. People taking the commonly used drugs known as statins were also 2.5 times more likely to be discharged home or to a rehabilitation facility, the study reports. When it comes to the best treatment for hemorrhagic stroke, there hasn't been a standard treatment recommendation, according to the study's lead author, Dr. Alexander Flint, the medical director of neuroscience quality at Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, Calif. Now, he said, physicians should know that taking patients off statin treatment in the hospital "may carry a risk of substantially worse outcome." The findings from this study aren't considered ... Read more

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Older Patients More Likely to Fill Prescriptions for Generic Statins: Study

Posted 15 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 – Patients prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs are more likely to fill their prescriptions and gain health benefits if the medications are cheaper generic brands, new research suggests. At issue are the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. Well-known brands include Crestor, Zocor and Lipitor. Generic statins are also available. The drugs are designed to lower the risk of heart problems due to clogged arteries. About half of patients on statins stop taking them within the first year, explained study lead author Joshua Gagne, an assistant professor of medicine with Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Statins are among the most "notorious" medications in terms of low adherence – patients actually taking them when they're prescribed, said Dr. Orli Etingin, a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College-New ... Read more

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Heart Attack Patients Face Greater Death Risk if Any Treatment Step Missed: Study

Posted 15 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 – People who've had a heart attack are at greater risk of death if even one of nine critical steps in their treatment is missed, according to a new study. Researchers in the United Kingdom noted patients who missed a part of their treatment early on, such as an electrocardiogram within hours of developing symptoms, were more likely to miss other steps in their care later on. The researchers added, however, that outcomes among heart attack patients can be improved if all nine steps critical to their care are followed. "The tragedy of all this is that these deaths are avoidable," study leader Dr. Chris Gale, of the University of Leeds School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "There is a clear relationship between the ability to provide comprehensive and timely care, and treatment and improved chance of heart attack survival." The researchers ... Read more

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Statins May Help Prevent Diabetes-Related Nerve Damage, Study Finds

Posted 10 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 – Cholesterol-busting statins may also help prevent common and serious diabetes complications, a new study indicates. Although the drugs are known to lower the risk for heart attack and stroke among those with type 2 diabetes, Danish researchers report statins may also help protect against diabetes-related damage to small blood vessels in the body that can lead to blindness and amputations. The scientists noted that the results in the new research were unexpected. "Since high levels of blood glucose, the hallmark of diabetes, are linked with microvascular disease, and since statins are suspected of raising glucose levels, we tested the hypothesis that individuals taking a statin before a diagnosis of diabetes might be at increased risk of developing microvascular complications," study author Borge Nordestgaard, chief physician in clinical biochemistry at ... Read more

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Statins May Help Kids With Genetic Cholesterol Disorder

Posted 9 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs seem to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in children who have a genetic cholesterol disorder, according to a long-term European study. Researchers looked at 194 children and teens in the Netherlands with familial hypercholesterolemia, which puts people at risk for premature hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). The inherited disorder affects about one in 500 people. The youngsters were prescribed the statin drug pravastatin and followed for 10 years. The results showed that taking the drug prevented premature atherosclerosis, according to the research, which was done by Dr. D. Meeike Kusters, of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues. The younger the age of those who start taking the drug, the better, noted the study, published in the Sept. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Atherosclerosis, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Pitavastatin, Altoprev, Fluvastatin, Baycol

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