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High-Dose Statins May Increase Diabetes Risk

Posted 22 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 21 – High doses of the widely popular cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins may have a downside. A new meta-analysis finds that intensive doses of statins, such as Lipitor and Zocor, upped the risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared with moderate doses of the drugs. But the review still revealed a lower incidence of heart attacks, stroke and death, meaning the balance remains tipped in favor of taking statins to protect your heart. "The benefit with respect to heart protection still favors high-dose statins because those taking high doses of statins often have heart disease so are at very high risk of further events," said Dr. Kausik K. Ray, senior author of a paper published in the June 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Patients should get annual checks of blood sugars and, if elevated, be treated appropriately," added ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Pneumonia Death Rate Lower Among People Who Take Statins

Posted 5 Apr 2011 by Drugs.com

LONDON, 5 April 2011-LSHTM study finds evidence for protective effect of cholesterol-lowering medication Taking statins could help prevent people dying from pneumonia, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The researchers found that the risk of death in the six month period after diagnosis of pneumonia was substantially lower among those who were already receiving the cholesterol-lowering drugs compared with those who were not. Previous studies have suggested that statins may be associated with a more favourable outcome after bacterial infection. This study, published online in the BMJ today, supports a possible protective effect of statins against mortality in patients with pneumonia. But the researchers point out that as they looked at patients who were already taking the medication when they developed pneumonia, a randomised clinical trial is ... Read more

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

Statins Might Help HIV Patients, Study Suggests

Posted 24 Feb 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 – Preliminary research suggests that statins restrain the immune systems of HIV patients and may stave off progression of the AIDS-causing virus. Although it's too soon to recommend the drug for this purpose, the findings of this small study raise the possibility that "there might be drugs that can help adjust the immune response in HIV patients whether they're taking AIDS medications or not," said Dr. Brian Agan, director of HIV research with the Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Md. He works with some of the study's authors. It's not unusual for HIV patients to take these cholesterol-lowering drugs, because the medications commonly used to combat HIV can cause cholesterol levels to skyrocket. Scientists have wondered if statins' anti-inflammatory properties might have benefits for HIV patients besides ... Read more

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

Blood Protein Level May Not Influence Effectiveness of Statins

Posted 28 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 28 – A new study debunks the idea that the cholesterol-fighting drugs known as statins work better in people with high levels of a certain protein and may not work at all in those with low levels. Researchers found that the drugs work the same – at least in heart patients, older men with high blood pressure and diabetics – regardless of the results of a test that looks for concentrations of so-called C-reactive protein. "The bottom line is, if you have vascular disease or diabetes, you will derive substantial benefit from statin treatment," said Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a cardiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the research. However, Fonarow said, the findings do not say whether levels of the protein will affect the effectiveness of the drugs in healthy people. According to Fonarow, research suggests that statins reduce the ... Read more

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

No Evidence That Statins Benefit 'Worried Well' Patients, Says Study

Posted 20 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

From Scotsman, The (Scotland) (January 20, 2011) SCOTTISH experts have backed a report claiming there is no evidence supporting widespread use of cholesterol-lowering statins in otherwise healthy patients. The drugs, championed by pharmaceutical firms, are highly effective at reducing blood cholesterol and are routinely given to people with heart disease. But some GPs also advocate their wider use for patients who fall into a higher-risk category for heart disease - if they have a family history of the illness, or high blood pressure. It has also been claimed many healthy doctors take it themselves on a precautionary basis. Heart charities, patients' groups and GPs all warned that "worried well" people considering taking statins - which are available in low doses over the counter from pharmacies - should take advice from their doctors before beginning the drug and consider making ... Read more

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

Statins May Be Harmful After Stroke

Posted 11 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 10 – Patients given cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins after suffering a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain may be at an increased risk of having another such stroke, a new study suggests. It is well-known that statins help reduce the risk of heart disease and ischemic stroke, where a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. However, whether statins also benefit patients who have had a hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke is unclear. Lead researcher Dr. Steven M. Greenberg, director of the Hemorrhagic Stroke Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said that "there is a group of patients who have to think carefully about whether they are getting benefit from being on a statin. Those are people who have had a hemorrhagic stroke and survived it and are trying to figure out how to prevent future disease." "For some of those people, the risk of being ... Read more

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

Statins OK for Patients With Abnormal Liver Function: Study

Posted 24 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 23 – Long-term use of cholesterol-lowering statins does not increase the risk of liver disease in patients with abnormal liver function, and can actually improve liver function, according to a new study that challenges widespread belief. The researchers also pointed out that this study is the first to show that statins provide a substantially greater cardiovascular benefit in patients with abnormal liver function than in those with normal liver function. The study, published in the Nov. 24 online edition of The Lancet, included 437 patients with moderately abnormal liver tests believed to have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Statins were given to 227 patients, while the other 210 (the control group) received no treatment. After three years of follow-up, the patients taking statins did not have a higher rate of liver problems than those in the control group. In ... Read more

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

Long-Term Statin Use Won't Up Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 18 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 18 – New research supports the notion that patients who take cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins may not have an increased risk for cancer, as some previous studies suggested. Statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs for people with high blood cholesterol levels, which are linked to heart disease. Brand names include Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor. "Three or four years ago there was a flare of articles pointing out that statins could produce cancer, and, at present, the most recent studies do not show this, and this is one of them," said Dr. Valentin Fuster, past president of the American Heart Association and director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York City. This latest study, slated for presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, was conducted by researchers from S2 Statistical Solutions, Inc., a company that does ... Read more

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

Long-Term Statin Use Won't Raise Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 10 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 10 – Long term use of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins does not increase the risk of cancer and may even decrease users' risks for lymphoma, melanoma and endometrial tumors, a new study finds. Studies have shown that the short-term use of statins – drugs such as Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor – has little effect on the risk of developing cancer, but less was known about the their use over the long term. But the new 10-year study suggests that "even long-term statin use is unlikely to increase the risk of common cancers," according to lead researcher Eric J. Jacobs, strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society. Jacobs was scheduled to present the results Tuesday at a cancer prevention-focused meeting of American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia. For the study, Jacobs's team collected data on more than 133,000 ... Read more

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

Higher Statin Doses Linked to Fewer Heart Attacks, Stroke

Posted 9 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 9 – Using high doses of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins appears to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or the need for additional cardiac procedures more than regular doses of statins in people who have had a stroke or suffer from heart disease, two new studies find. This benefit was seen even among those whose cholesterol levels were already low, researchers say. Statins include widely used medications such as Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor. "For high-risk people, those with heart disease or [who] have had a stroke who are taking a standard dose of a statin, further reduction in LDL cholesterol will give them extra benefit," said Dr. Colin Baigent of the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit at University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, who was involved in both studies. This applied even if the patients already had low levels of ... Read more

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

Statins Don't Reduce Colon Cancer Risk, Study Finds

Posted 8 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 8 – A large-scale new study found that postmenopausal women who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins do not reduce their risk for colorectal cancer. Previous studies have suggested that statins may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. But this new study of more than 150,000 women found no reduced risk, regardless of the type of statin taken or for how long. "The upshot was there was no significant difference in colorectal cancer risk between statin users and nonusers," lead researcher Dr. Michael S. Simon, a professor of oncology at Wayne State University in Detroit, said during a Monday afternoon press conference. Simon was to present the findings at the American Association for Cancer Research's ninth annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, which concludes Wednesday in Philadelphia. For the study, Simon's team collected data on 159,219 ... Read more

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

Ingredients in Red Yeast Rice Supplements Vary Widely: Study

Posted 26 Oct 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 26 – There are widely inconsistent amounts of active ingredient in different formulations of popular red yeast rice supplements, a new study finds. The supplements are marketed as a way to lower cholesterol levels. In addition, four of the 12 products included in the study had detectable levels of a potentially toxic compound called citrinin, which can damage the kidneys. The toxin is produced by a fungus. In 2008, Americans spent about $20 million on red yeast rice supplements. "Several studies have shown that specific formulations of red yeast rice reduce low-density lipoprotein [LDL or 'bad'] cholesterol significantly compared with placebo. This is likely related to the effects of monacolin K and the 13 other monacolins in the supplement, which also works to lower the production of cholesterol in the liver," wrote a team led by Dr. Ram Y. Gordon of Chestnut Hill ... Read more

Related support groups: Red Yeast Rice

Aspirin, Statins May Reduce Problems After Heart Surgery

Posted 19 Oct 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 19 – Patients who took aspirin before heart surgery suffered fewer heart attacks, stroke and other problems after their operations, and those given statins had better survival rates, two new studies find. In the aspirin study, researchers identified 1,148 patients undergoing bypass, valve or other scheduled cardiac surgeries. Of those, 860 were taking aspirin in the five days before the surgery and 288 were not taking aspirin. During the 30 days after surgery, nearly 13 percent of patients not taking aspirin experienced a heart attack, stroke or other major cardiac event, compared to only 8.6 percent in the aspirin group, the researchers found. Aspirin also seemed to stave off post-surgery kidney failure, said senior study author Dr. Jian-Zhong Sun, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. About 3.8 percent of those taking ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Ecotrin, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Bayer Aspirin, Lescol, Bufferin, Lescol XL, Low Dose ASA, Mevacor, Aspergum

Statins Could Prevent More Strokes, Heart Attacks: Analysis

Posted 27 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 27 – Broader use of cholesterol-lowering statins may be a cost-effective way to prevent heart attack and stroke, U.S. researchers suggest. In the study, published online Sept. 27 in the journal Circulation, the researchers also found that screening for high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) to identify patients who may benefit from statin therapy is only cost-effective in certain cases. Elevated levels of CRP indicate inflammation and suggest an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Currently, statin therapy is recommended for high-risk patients – those with a 20 percent or greater risk of some type of cardiovascular event within the next 10 years. But statins may also benefit people with a lower risk, according to Dr. Mark Hlatky, professor of health research and policy and of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Statins May Guard Against Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted 8 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 – Statins, lauded for their ability to lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks and strokes, may also reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, Israeli researchers report. "We found that statin users who purchased their medication persistently were less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis over a long follow-up period," said lead researcher Gabriel Chodick, from Maccabi Healthcare Services in Tel Aviv. For example, compared with patients who took statins less than 20 percent of the time, patients who took statins for 40 percent to 59 percent of the time had a 23 percent lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, he said. "Patients who were covered for more than 80 percent of the time, had a 40 percent lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis," Chodick said. "The effect was stronger in younger patients and in patients using more effective ... Read more

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

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