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Statins May Dampen Protective Powers of Flu Vaccines

Posted 29 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2015 – Two new studies raise the possibility that the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins may blunt the effectiveness of flu vaccines in seniors. But experts caution that more research is needed to better understand the issue, and that older people shouldn't throw away their statins just yet. "There is a clear-cut benefit to persons taking statins, so patients should not stop statin use because of the study results, even for a short time," said Dr. Robert Atmar, a clinical research professor of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He co-wrote a commentary that accompanied the studies. And flu vaccines provide at least some protection in people who take statins, so "patients should still receive an influenza vaccine to be protected," Atmar added. Still, the findings raise yet another question about the safety of statins. While ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, FluLaval, Afluria, Lescol, Fluzone, Lescol XL, Mevacor, FluMist

No Need to Stop Taking Statins Before Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 27 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2015 – Stopping cholesterol-lowering statins before non-cardiac surgery is unnecessary and may increase the risk of death following the operation, researchers report. In their study, doctors from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), found that although the practice of stopping statins before an operation is no longer recommended, many patients are still being told to do so. Moreover, patients who stopped taking statins before surgery or who didn't start them again within two days after surgery had a 40 percent increased risk of dying within 30 days, the investigators found. "Recently, a number of studies have suggested that continued use of statins in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery is associated with significantly lower risk of cardiovascular events and death," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Pitavastatin, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Heart Patients Worldwide Missing Out on Key Drugs

Posted 20 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2015 – Many patients worldwide don't receive generic life-saving heart medicines that are supposedly affordable, a new study reveals. In poor and middle-income nations, these vital medications are often not widely available or are too expensive. In rich countries, as many as half of patients with a history of heart disease or stroke still don't receive them, the researchers found. "Unless both availability and affordability of these medicines are improved, their use is likely to remain low in most of the world," they added. The study is published Oct. 21 in The Lancet. Four classes of heart medicines – aspirin, beta blockers, statins and angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors – should be available in 80 percent of communities and used by half of eligible patients by 2025, the World Health Organization says. But compliance currently is far from those targets, ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Aspirin, Metoprolol, Heart Disease, Atenolol, Losartan, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Propranolol, Arrhythmia, Benicar, Diovan, Crestor, Bystolic, Atorvastatin, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Angina, Ramipril, Bisoprolol

Younger Women Less Likely to Take Meds After Heart Attack

Posted 13 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2015 – Younger women who've had a heart attack are less likely than men to be taking the appropriate heart medications one year later, new Canadian research shows. These findings underscore previous studies that show fewer women take these drugs than men. Researchers said this discrepancy has important implications for how doctors approach treatment for younger women who've had a heart attack. "The gender gap in treatment initiation among younger women is an important finding because younger women have much worse outcomes after suffering a heart attack than do men of the same age," said study co-author Karin Humphries, an associate professor of cardiology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. "This finding suggests that younger women should be treated aggressively, especially when we have medications that work," Humphries added in a news release from ... Read more

Related support groups: Metoprolol, Atenolol, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Propranolol, Crestor, Bystolic, Atorvastatin, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Inderal, Zocor, Sotalol, Azor, Exforge, Benicar HCT, Lovastatin

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, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, 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

Related support groups: Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease

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, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Pravachol, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, 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

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, Lescol XL, Mevacor

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

Related support groups: Surgery, Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Caduet, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Liptruzet

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, 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 Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL)

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, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Angina, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease, Lescol XL

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, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL), 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, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, 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

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Pravachol, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Pitavastatin, Altoprev, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Fluvastatin, Baycol

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

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Iodine, Zocor, Lovastatin, Tums, Nocturnal Leg Cramps, Epsom Salt, Magnesium Oxide, Potassium Chloride, Klor-Con, Caltrate, Rosuvastatin, Copper, Sodium Chloride, Chromium Picolinate, Calcium Carbonate

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