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Study Hints at Link Between Some Statins, Parkinson's Risk

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – People on cholesterol-lowering statins may have a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Researchers said the finding doesn't prove statins are to blame. But, they added, the findings undercut the notion that statins might help protect against Parkinson's. Where does that idea come from? Past research has shown that people with high cholesterol tend to have a lower risk of Parkinson's, explained Dr. Xuemei Huang, a professor of neurology at Penn State College of Medicine. Since many of those people are treated with statins, that led to speculation that the drugs – rather than high cholesterol itself – might be protective. But so far, studies have come to mixed conclusions, according to Huang. Some have tied statins to a lower Parkinson's risk, while others have found either no connection or an increased risk. Enter ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Parkinson's Disease, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Lescol XL, Mevacor

Moving Toward a Better Blood Pressure Pill

Posted 5 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 5, 2017 – Combining low doses of several different blood pressure drugs may be better than using a standard dose of just one medication, a new review of past studies suggests. Two-thirds of patients taking a blood pressure-lowering drug don't improve as much as their doctors would like, the researchers noted. Citing a "critical need" for new approaches, they reviewed 42 studies involving ultra-low doses of multiple medications. Their conclusion: "Low doses can achieve large effects when used in combination," said review co-author Dr. Anthony Rodgers. "What we found was that four quarter doses [of different medications] gives a lot of benefit with few apparent side effects." High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke, heart attack and several other major conditions, so it's important to get good treatment, said Rodgers. He is a professor of global health at the George ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Azor, Benicar HCT, Exforge, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Lotrel, Avalide, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Maxzide, Dyazide, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Micardis HCT, Tribenzor, Caduet, Ziac, Edarbyclor, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Hydrochlorothiazide/Triamterene

Conflicting Statin Guidelines Leave Millions in 'Gray Zone'

Posted 18 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Conflicting guidelines on statin use could leave about 9 million Americans unsure about treatment, a new study suggests. Researchers estimate that if all doctors followed the latest guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for the cholesterol-lowering drugs, the number of Americans aged 40 to 75 on statin medications would rise by 16 percent. In absolute numbers, that would mean another 17 million statin users. If that sounds like a big jump, consider what would happen if all doctors followed the advice of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association: Statin use would climb by 24 percent – for an additional 26 million Americans on the drugs, the study authors estimated. The difference between the two sets of guidelines leaves 9 million Americans in a statin "gray zone." So, which guidelines are "right"? That's not ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia

Many Young Adults With High Cholesterol Not on Statins as Recommended

Posted 4 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2017 – Too few Americans who need them – especially young adults – are getting cholesterol-lowering statin medications, a new study suggests. The study of nearly 3 million adults found that more than half of younger patients under 40 with too-high blood levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol are getting statins as recommended. "This article clearly articulates the under-usage of statins in young people with severe elevations of LDL cholesterol," said heart specialist Dr. Carl Reimers. Reimers is associate chair of cardiovascular medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He reviewed the new findings but wasn't involved in the research. Reimers said that younger patients often show early signs of heart trouble linked to cholesterol, but too often aren't treated with statins. That's a shame, he said, because "it is well-established that treating these patients with ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor

Whether Statins Cut Alzheimer's Risk May Depend on Gender, Race

Posted 12 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – Could cholesterol-fighting statins fend off Alzheimer's disease? A new, large study suggests that if they do have that power, it may depend on the specific statin, and the gender and race or ethnicity of the person taking it. For example, black men appeared to gain no benefit from taking any statin, while white women may lower their risk regardless of which statin they take, the researchers said. The findings don't prove that statins reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's. And if they do shrink the risk, the effect seems to be small. Still, "those with high exposure to statins had a reduced risk of [Alzheimer's disease] compared to those with low exposure. And it varied by type of statin and for men, women and for different racial and ethnic individuals," said study author Julie Zissimopoulos. She is associate director of the Schaeffer Center for Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Alzheimer's Disease, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Pitavastatin, Fluvastatin

Drug Combo for Irregular Heartbeat Might Raise Bleeding Risk

Posted 21 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 – Because the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation can trigger stroke-inducing clots, many patients are prescribed a blood thinner. But a new Canadian study suggests that combining one blood thinner, Pradaxa, with certain statin medications could raise the odds for bleeding in these patients. "An increase in the risk of bleeding requiring hospital admission or emergency department visits was seen with lovastatin [Mevacor] and simvastatin [Zocor] compared with the other statins," said study author Tony Antoniou, a pharmacist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. His team tracked outcomes for nearly 46,000 patients ages 65 and older. All had atrial fibrillation and took Pradaxa (dabigatran) to reduce their risk of stroke. Those who also took either lovastatin or simvastatin had a 40 percent higher risk of bleeding than those who took other statins, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pradaxa, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Dabigatran

Bonus From Your Blood Pressure Med: Fewer Fractures?

Posted 21 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 – High blood pressure and weakened bones are two big health issues for seniors. Now, new data suggests that one class of drugs might help protect against both. The study of thousands of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare patients found that anti-hypertension meds called thiazide diuretics also seemed to lower odds of a patient suffering a hip or pelvic fracture, compared with people on other high blood pressure medications. The finding made sense to one endocrinologist. "It is well known that thiazide therapy can lower calcium excretion into the urine by as much as 50 percent," said Dr. Caroline Messer, who reviewed the new findings. "This tendency towards a positive calcium balance in the body may [slow] bone loss and reduce fracture risk," explained Messer. She directs the Center for Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Amlodipine, Norvasc, Azor, Exforge, Fracture, bone, Lotrel, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Zestril, Tribenzor, Caduet, Amlodipine/Benazepril, Hyponatremia, Zestoretic, Twynsta, Prinivil, Compression Fracture of Vertebral Column, Exforge HCT

High Blood Pressure Rates Have Doubled Worldwide Since 1975

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – The number of people worldwide with high blood pressure has nearly doubled over the past 40 years, a new study reveals. At the same time, average blood pressure levels are at an all-time low in the United States and other developed nations, the researchers said. "High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke and heart disease, and kills around 7.5 million people worldwide every year. Most of these deaths are experienced in the developing world," said study author Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial College, London in England. "Taken globally, high blood pressure is no longer a problem of the Western world or wealthy countries. It is a problem of the world's poorest countries and people," Ezzati added. The overall number of people with high blood pressure ("hypertension") rose from 594 million in 1975 to more than 1 billion in 2015, due to ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension, Azor, Benicar HCT, Exforge, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Lotrel, Avalide, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Micardis HCT, Tribenzor, Caduet, Ziac, Edarbyclor, Amlodipine/Benazepril, Tarka, Zestoretic, Twynsta

Coming Soon: Lower Cholesterol From a Twice-a-Year Shot?

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Instead of popping a pill every day, people might soon control "bad" LDL cholesterol by getting an injection at their doctor's office two or three times a year. Researchers testing a new injectable drug called Inclisiran found it cut LDL cholesterol by half or more. According to early clinical trial data, the effect could last for four to six months. Inclisiran produced "significant and durable reductions in LDL cholesterol, and thus could potentially impact cardiovascular events," said study presenter Dr. Kausik Ray, a professor of public health at Imperial College London in England. Such long-lasting effects could provide a major advance in preventing heart disease, heart attack and stroke, by helping reduce hardening of the arteries, the researchers said. The trial results were presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in New ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Repatha, Caduet, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL

High-Dose Statins Boost Survival: Study

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – Higher doses of the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins appear to boost survival slightly for certain people, a large new study reports. The study followed more than 509,000 patients with various forms of cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that survival increased by 9 percent when people took high versus moderate doses of statin for a little over a year. High doses – also called high-intensity statin therapy – included 40 to 80 milligrams (mg) of atorvastatin (Lipitor) or 20 to 40 mg of rosuvastatin (Crestor) daily. Examples of moderate doses include 10 to 20 mg of Lipitor and 5 to 10 mg of Crestor, the study reported. Unlike some previous studies, this study included adults over age 75. The study showed that people over 75 also have a survival benefit with high doses compared to moderate doses, said study author Dr. Fatima Rodriguez. ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Caduet, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Pitavastatin

'White Coat' High Blood Pressure May Signal Trouble in Older People

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – So-called "white coat hypertension" is mostly harmless, but in some older people it may indicate a risk for heart disease, a new study suggests. White coat hypertension refers to high blood pressure readings in a doctor's office or other medical setting in people who typically have normal blood pressure. This study included 653 people with white coat hypertension and 653 with normal blood pressure. All of the study volunteers were followed for more than 10 years. During that time, there was no difference in the number of new heart problems in either group for people younger than 60. However, among 92 people aged 60 and older, there were 18 more new heart problem cases among those with white coat hypertension than in those without, according to researchers, led by Dr. Stanley Franklin from University of California, Irvine. Franklin's team said the findings ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Azor, Benicar HCT, Exforge, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Lotrel, Avalide, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Tribenzor, Micardis HCT, Caduet, Ziac, Edarbyclor, Amlodipine/Benazepril, Tarka, Zestoretic, Twynsta, Hydrochlorothiazide/Losartan

Statins Often Interact With Other Heart Drugs

Posted 17 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – Cholesterol-lowering statins can interact with other drugs prescribed for heart disease. But there are ways to navigate the problem, according to new recommendations from the American Heart Association. Statins are among the mostly widely prescribed drugs in the United States. Roughly one-quarter of Americans age 40 and up are on a statin, according to a 2014 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drugs are prescribed to people who either have atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) or are at risk of it, which means many statin users also take other cardiovascular drugs, the heart association says. The benefits of those drug combinations will generally outweigh the risks, said Barbara Wiggins, a clinical pharmacy specialist in cardiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. But doctors and patients should be aware of how the drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Amlodipine, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Diltiazem, Norvasc, Pravastatin, Verapamil, Amiodarone, Digoxin, Nifedipine, Cardizem, Zocor, Azor, Lovastatin, Exforge, Multaq

Are There Alternatives to Statins?

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – Statins are the go-to therapy for lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol, but other treatments also can effectively reduce risk of future heart problems, a new evidence review reports. These alternative therapies – including a heart-healthy diet, other cholesterol-lowering medications, and even intestinal bypass surgery – seem to confer the same level of heart health protection as statins when cholesterol levels decrease, according to the findings. Nonstatin therapies reduced the risk of heart problems by 25 percent for each 1 millimole per liter (mmol/L) decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. That's very similar to the 23 percent reduction per 1 mmol/L decrease seen with statins like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor), the researchers said. What's more, the benefits of these therapies stack up if more than one proves effective at lowering a person's ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Welchol, Cholestyramine, Zocor, Lovastatin, Zetia, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Questran, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice

Tighter Blood Pressure Control Could Save 100,000 U.S. Lives: Study

Posted 15 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 15, 2016 – Engaging Americans at high risk for heart disease in aggressive efforts to lower their blood pressure could save more than 100,000 lives a year, a new analysis indicates. Current guidelines recommend a systolic pressure – the top number in a blood pressure reading – of below 140 mm Hg. But a 2015 study from the U.S. National Institutes of Health suggested more lives could be saved if the goal was less than 120 mm Hg. The NIH trial known as SPRINT included adults aged 50 and older with systolic readings of 130 to 180 mm Hg and at high risk of heart disease (but not diabetes or stroke). They had either intensive treatment, with a goal of lowering systolic pressure to less than 120 mm Hg, or standard treatment, with a target of less than 140 mm Hg. The results were so impressive that the NIH halted the trial early. Risk of death from all causes was 27 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Propranolol, Hydrochlorothiazide, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Inderal, Sotalol, Azor, Benicar HCT, Exforge, Toprol-XL, Lopressor, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Timolol

Fewer Drugs in Pipeline to Treat World's No. 1 Killer

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2016 – Heart disease remains the world's leading cause of death, but development of drugs to treat it has slowed, a new study reveals. The percentage of heart drugs in clinical trials declined from 1990 through 2012, an analysis of pharmaceutical research and development projects found. Over that time period, 347 heart drugs entered clinical trials, most of them to treat high blood pressure, prevent clotting and lower lipid levels (such as cholesterol) in the blood. Clinical trials are done in a series of steps called phases, each intended to answer different questions about drugs' safety and effectiveness. Between 1990 and 1995, heart drugs made up 108 of 679 (16 percent) of phase 1 trials. That compared with 125 of 2,366 (5 percent) between 2005 and 2012, the researchers said. Phase 1 is the earliest stage of testing. Among later-stage, phase 3 trials, heart drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Heart Disease, Atenolol, Hydrochlorothiazide, Diltiazem, Bystolic, Lasix, Norvasc, Verapamil, Furosemide, Bisoprolol, Nifedipine, Cardizem, Toprol-XL, Lopressor, Metoprolol Succinate ER, Tenormin, Chlorthalidone, Felodipine

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