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Sharp Spike Seen in Statin Use in Elderly Without Heart Disease

Posted 5 days ago 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, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Fluvastatin, Altoprev

Wider Use of Statin Drugs Could Save Thousands More Lives: Report

Posted 14 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 – New expert guidelines from two major cardiologists' groups may boost doctors' ability to spot patients who should take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, researchers said. The updated guidelines were released in 2013 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Now, a new report finds they are more accurate and efficient than earlier guidelines in identifying adults at high risk for heart trouble who could gain from statins. All of that should add up to lives saved, the researchers said. "Extrapolating our results to the approximately 10 million U.S. adults who would be newly eligible for statin therapy under the new guidelines, we estimate that between 41,000 and 63,000 cardiovascular events – heart attacks, strokes or deaths from cardiovascular disease – would be prevented over a 10-year period," lead researcher Dr. Udo Hoffman, ... Read more

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Calcium Scan Can Predict Premature Death Risk, Study Says

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 – A scan of calcium deposits inside your arteries can help doctors deduce how long you're likely to live, a new study has found. The test, called a coronary calcium scan, uses a regular CT scan to look for calcium deposits in the three major arteries that carry blood away from the heart, said lead author Leslee Shaw, a professor of cardiology at Emory University in Atlanta. People with the largest amounts of calcium in their arteries carry an early death risk that's six times greater than those with no calcium deposits, researchers found in a 15-year study of nearly 10,000 patients. "If you had no calcium or very small amounts, we were able to track over a very long time that you actually had a very outstanding survival," Shaw said. Calcium deposits develop as a response to plaque formation along the artery walls, Shaw said. These plaques, which are caused by blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Acute Coronary Syndrome - Prophylaxis, Altoprev

Do Cholesterol Drugs Affect Aggression?

Posted 1 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might influence a person's aggressive behaviors, increasing or decreasing their irritability and violent tendencies, a new clinical trial suggests. Men taking statins typically become less aggressive, while women on statins tend to become more aggressive, according to findings published July 1 in the journal PLOS ONE. "Clinicians should be aware of this, and it's not bad for patients to be aware of it," said lead author Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a principal investigator at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. "If an individual develops a behavioral change, in my view medication should always be considered as a possibility." However, the effect appears to be minimal and needs to be verified with follow-up studies, said one outside expert, Robert Geffner, founding president of the Institute on Violence, Abuse & ... Read more

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Statins Might Reduce Complications After Major Lung Surgery

Posted 26 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 26, 2015 – Widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins might help reduce major complications after lung surgery, new research suggests. Statins have been linked to fewer complications after heart surgery, and researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City theorized they might also benefit patients undergoing major lung surgery. The researchers randomly assigned more than 160 study participants to receive the statin Lipitor (atorvastatin) or an inactive placebo before and after lung resection – removal of part of the lung. Complications – such as pneumonia, heart attack and acute respiratory failure – were reported in 22 percent of patients receiving placebo, compared with 12 percent taking statins. Statins were also linked to a nearly 50 percent reduction in post-surgery rates of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm), the ... Read more

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Can U.S. Health-Care System Afford New, Improved Cholesterol Drugs?

Posted 18 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 18, 2015 – A new class of powerful cholesterol drugs is poised to hit the market, and doctors are both hopeful about their potential, and worried that insurers won't pay for them. The drugs, known as PCSK9 inhibitors, can drastically cut LDL cholesterol – the "bad" kind linked to increased risks of heart attack and stroke. And they are expected to open up a new option for people who cannot take statins, the drugs that have been the standard for cholesterol-lowering since the 1980s. Last week, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended the agency approve two PCSK9 inhibitors: alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha). The FDA, which usually follows the recommendations of its advisory panels, is expected to OK both drugs. Some cardiologists have heralded PCSK9 inhibitors as a breakthrough – particularly for patients who can't take statins ... Read more

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

Seeing Their Clogged Arteries Can Spur Healthy Changes in Patients

Posted 15 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – Seeing images of their narrowed heart arteries may convince some heart disease patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle and take prescribed medications, a new study suggests. "Seeing their calcified coronary arteries on the CT image was clearly an eye-opener for patients. We received comments such as, 'It is my coronary artery and my coronary artery calcification and I am facing a real risk and challenge,' " said study author Rikke Elmose Mols, a nurse and Ph.D. student at Aarhus University Hospital-Skejby in Denmark. "This may be the wake-up call patients need to take their medication and modify their behaviors to reduce their risk of having a coronary artery event," Mols said in a European Society of Cardiology news release. The research included 189 people recently diagnosed with early stage heart disease. Half were shown a CT image of calcium buildup on the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Angina, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Lescol

FDA Advisers Weigh 2 New Cholesterol Drugs

Posted 9 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 9, 2015 – U.S. health experts are weighing whether to endorse two drugs from a new class of cholesterol medications that seem to sharply cut "bad" LDL cholesterol in people who don't fare well on the commonly used drugs called statins. The new drugs are known as PCSK9 inhibitors. U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers are meeting Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss and possibly recommend approval of the drugs alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha). While the FDA isn't compelled to follow the recommendations of its advisory committees, it usually does so. A recent review of 24 clinical trials – published April 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine – found that PCSK9 inhibitors lowered people's LDL cholesterol by about 47 percent, on average. More important, the drugs seemed to cut the risk of heart attack or death from heart disease, according to the ... Read more

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

Statins Pose No Greater Harm to Memory, Study Suggests

Posted 8 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 – Even though some early research suggested that people who take statin drugs might experience short-term memory loss, a large new study finds they are no worse for recall than other cholesterol-lowering medications. According to researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey and the University of Pennsylvania, prior, limited research and anecdotal information from patients had hinted that statins might cause memory problems – leading some patients to stop taking the drugs. Statins include widely used medications such as Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor. To investigate the issue, a team led by Brian Strom, chancellor of Biomedical and Health Sciences at Rutgers, analyzed data from nearly 1 million patients. The researchers compared memory changes in three groups: Patients who recently started taking statins, those taking other cholesterol-lowering drugs, and people not ... Read more

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

Cholesterol Drugs May Boost Outcomes After Bypass

Posted 2 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 2, 2015 – A new study suggests that the widely used anti-cholesterol drugs known as statins may have another benefit: Cutting the odds for death in the weeks and months after heart bypass surgery. Use of a statin – especially the drug Zocor – was linked to a 65 percent to 74 percent lower risk of death following coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Bypass is performed for patients suffering from severely clogged or narrowed arteries, and is designed to re-route blood flow around such blockages. The study was led by Robert Sanders, an assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His team of U.S. and U.K. researchers noted that the vast majority of heart surgery patients included in the analysis – roughly 85 percent – were already routinely taking a statin before their heart surgery. "The unknown is why the other 15 percent were not on ... Read more

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Health Tip: Avoiding Leg Cramps

Posted 20 May 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Painful leg cramps can happen to anyone, but tend to be common among seniors. The AARP recommends: Gently stretch and flex the leg to ease a cramp. Ask your doctor if a medication, such as a statin or diuretic, could be causing your leg cramps. Make sure your electrolyte levels are normal. Below-normal levels of potassium, magnesium or calcium could trigger leg cramps. Drink plenty of fluids. Make sure the covers aren't too tight on your bed. Choose shoes with proper arch support. Read more

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Cholesterol Drugs May Lower Stroke Risk for Healthy Older Adults

Posted 19 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 – Healthy older adults who take cholesterol-lowering drugs may be cutting their risk of stroke, a new French study suggests. The study found that when people took medications called statins or fibrates, their risk of stroke over almost a decade went down by about one-third. But, lead researcher Dr. Christophe Tzourio, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Bordeaux and Inserm in France, doesn't think older people should start taking these drugs solely for stroke prevention. "Our results should not be interpreted as an indication for prescribing statins or fibrates to elderly individuals. We wouldn't recommend changing medications based on the results of only one study," he said. "The next step is to see whether we can replicate our findings or not," he added. The report was published May 19 in the BMJ. Statins include drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor. ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Tricor, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

One-Third of Americans Have Dangerous Mix of Heart Risk Factors

Posted 19 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 – More than one-third of U.S. adults have a combination of health problems collectively known as metabolic syndrome that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to new research. What's worse, the researchers found the rate of metabolic syndrome increases dramatically with age. Almost half of people 60 or older in the United States have metabolic syndrome, the study found. "That's concerning, because we know the population of the U.S. is aging," said senior author Dr. Robert Wong, an assistant clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco. "I think it will potentially place a huge burden on our health care system." Metabolic syndrome is a "perfect storm" of conditions that include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, increased levels of blood sugar, and a wider waist circumference, Wong said. Medical experts are ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Niacin, Angina, Zocor, Niaspan, Lovastatin, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia

Staying Fit May Delay Onset of High Cholesterol, Study Finds

Posted 11 May 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 – Men who keep fit may find they delay normal age-related increases in blood cholesterol levels by up to 15 years, a new study suggests. It is common for cholesterol levels to rise with age and then decrease later in life, the study authors explained in background notes. Previous studies have shown that high cholesterol levels can be a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can lower this risk, the researchers said. "Exercise and being fit helps keep arteries clear by lowering 'bad' [LDL] cholesterol and boosting 'good' [HDL] cholesterol," explained study author Dr. Xuemei Sui, an assistant professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. "It also reduces other risk factors for atherosclerosis [narrowed arteries] and blood clots, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and stress," Sui ... Read more

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

Americans' Blood Triglyceride Levels Dropping: CDC

Posted 7 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 – Americans' levels of triglycerides – a type of fat in the blood – have dropped significantly in the past decade, according to a new federal study. Factors that may lower triglyceride levels include quitting smoking, weight loss, use of cholesterol-lowering drugs (such as statins) and improving dietary nutrition, the researchers said. "The news is encouraging," said Dr. Michael Miller, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. But Miller, who was not involved with the study, added that it is "certainly nothing to brag about when one out of every three middle-aged men 40 to 59, and nearly one out of every three women aged 60 and over continue to live with unhealthy triglyceride levels." Like the bad type of cholesterol – LDL – high levels of triglycerides raise the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. Another expert, Dr. ... Read more

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

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