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Statins Often Interact With Other Heart Drugs

Posted 4 days ago by

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, Diltiazem, Atorvastatin, Norvasc, Pravastatin, Verapamil, Amiodarone, Digoxin, Nifedipine, Cardizem, Zocor, Azor, Lovastatin, Exforge, Rosuvastatin

Are There Alternatives to Statins?

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by

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, Zocor, Cholestyramine, Lovastatin, Zetia, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Questran, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Livalo

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

Posted 15 Sep 2016 by

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, Hydrochlorothiazide, Propranolol, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Inderal, Sotalol, Azor, Exforge, Benicar HCT, Toprol-XL, Lopressor, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Timolol

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

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by

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

Just a Little of Statins' Effect Enough to Help Heart: Study

Posted 20 Jun 2016 by

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 – Giving high doses of statins to patients with heart disease doesn't lower the risk of future heart trouble any more than moderate doses of the cholesterol-lowering drugs do, a new study finds. Having heart disease raises the risk of heart attack and stroke, as blood vessels become clogged and cut the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. These patients are typically prescribed statins on a long-term basis, to lower levels of vessel-clogging LDL ("bad") cholesterol. But experts remain conflicted about exactly how low LDL cholesterol levels should go. "Our study demonstrates that physicians treating patients with heart disease and elevated levels of cholesterol with statins have to ensure that patients meet a target of less than 100 mg/dL to prevent future [heart] events," said study author Dr. Morton Leibowitz. He is a senior physician with the Clalit ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Simcor, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor

Statins Might Not Lower Colon Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 26 Apr 2016 by

TUESDAY, April 26, 2016 – Long-term use of cholesterol-lowering statins does not appear to reduce the risk of colon cancer, but a person's cholesterol levels might affect risk, a new study suggests. Both statins and cholesterol levels have been linked with lower colon cancer risk, but pinpointing which one is actually responsible has been difficult, the University of Pennsylvania researchers explained. So, they compared statin use and cholesterol levels in more than 22,000 British patients with colon cancer and more than 86,500 without the disease. The results confirmed findings from previous studies that showed a lower risk of colon cancer in people who take statins. But the risk was not significantly different between people who kept taking statins and those who stopped taking the drugs. Instead, the higher the cholesterol level, the lower the colon cancer risk for patients, ... Read more

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

More Support for Lower Blood Pressure Goals

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – Intensive treatment to lower blood pressure below currently recommended levels reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease, a new study shows. Effective blood pressure goals have been the subject of much recent scientific debate, with another recent study also supporting lower targets. For this study, researchers analyzed data from 19 clinical trials that included nearly 45,000 people. They wanted to assess the potential benefits and safety of pushing systolic blood pressure in high-risk patients below the current target of 140. Systolic is the top number in a blood pressure reading. Compared to those who received standard treatment, average systolic pressure was 6.8 lower and diastolic blood pressure was 4.5 lower in patients who received more intensive treatment – 133.2/76.4 ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Heart Disease, Atenolol, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Hydrochlorothiazide, Propranolol, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Renal Failure, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Enalapril, Benazepril, Inderal, Sotalol

Heart Disease Doesn't Take a Holiday

Posted 25 Nov 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 – People with heart disease should take a number of precautions if they travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, an expert suggests. The first step is to be as well-prepared on your trip as you are at home, said Dr. Winston Gandy Jr., a cardiologist at Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta. "Make sure when you travel that you have your medicine," Gandy said in an American Heart Association news release. Some people carry a copy of their original prescriptions in case they lose their medications, but having a list of your medications and your cardiologist's phone number should be sufficient. It's also a good idea to tell your cardiologist where you'll be. "Chances are your cardiologist is going to know someone there, either personally or by reputation," who can provide you with help if needed, Gandy said. Research medical facilities at your destination, and know what ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Niacin, Niaspan, Zocor, Azor, Lovastatin, Benicar HCT, Exforge, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Rosuvastatin, Lotrel, Avalide, Pravachol, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Maxzide

Confirm High Blood Pressure Outside Doctor's Office, U.S. Task Force Says

Posted 12 Oct 2015 by

MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2015 – High blood pressure levels should generally be confirmed with home or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring before starting treatment for hypertension, a new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation says. Many factors can affect blood pressure readings, such as stress, physical activity and caffeine or nicotine, the USPSTF said. And, some people experience "white-coat hypertension" – an increase in blood pressure at the doctor's office from stress – when having their blood pressure taken. All of these factors can make it hard to tell if someone really has high blood pressure, the researchers said. That's why the Task Force recommends confirming a diagnosis of high blood pressure, or hypertension, before starting treatment, unless someone has very high blood pressure that needs to be treated right away. "For most patients, elevated blood ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Controlling Blood Pressure

Posted 16 Sep 2015 by

-- If you've got high blood pressure, you must work with your doctor to help keep it under control. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends: Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and stay at a healthy body weight. Take all of your medications as prescribed. Don't skip pills or let a prescription run out. Follow your doctor's orders for checkups and tests. Learn to check your blood pressure at home. Log your pressure readings in a journal. Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Bystolic, Bisoprolol, Azor, Benicar HCT, Exforge, Toprol-XL, Diovan HCT, Lopressor, Hyzaar, Lotrel, Tenormin, Avalide, Metoprolol Succinate ER, Maxzide, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Nebivolol

Big Swings in Blood Pressure Could Spell Trouble

Posted 27 Jul 2015 by

MONDAY, July 27, 2015 – Wide blood pressure fluctuations may signal an increased risk of heart disease and early death, researchers say. The large study of people taking blood pressure medication found that variations of more than 14 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure readings between doctor visits was linked to a 25 percent increased risk of heart failure. Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. "Patients should have their blood pressure controlled," said lead researcher Paul Muntner, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Alabama School of Public Health at Birmingham. "They should be aware that their blood pressure changes, and if there is a lot of variation, they might want to talk with their doctor about why it's changing." These variations may be a sign of increasing damage to the arteries, particularly stiffening, Muntner said. About one in ... Read more

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

Statins Might Reduce Complications After Major Lung Surgery

Posted 26 Jun 2015 by

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, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Pitavastatin

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

Posted 19 May 2015 by

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, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Niacin, Angina, Insulin Resistance, Niaspan, Zocor, Lovastatin, Pre-Diabetes, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia

Can Statins Help Lower Lung Cancer Death Risk?

Posted 1 May 2015 by

FRIDAY, May 1, 2015 – Taking the cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins for a year before getting a diagnosis of lung cancer was associated with a 12 percent lower risk of dying from that cancer, new research suggests. The researchers from Northern Ireland also found indications that those who had a minimum of 12 statin prescriptions filled after being diagnosed with lung cancer saw their lung cancer death risk drop by as much as 19 percent. But, study lead author Chris Cardwell stressed that the degree of the association seen between statin use and a lower risk for lung cancer death was "relatively small." And while the study found an association between statin use and a lower risk of lung cancer death, it wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Cardwell said there are any number of other differences between patients who take statins and patients who don't ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Lung Cancer, Zocor, Lovastatin, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe

Fainting Spells Often Tied to Too Many Meds at Once: Study

Posted 4 Nov 2012 by

SUNDAY, Nov. 4 – Taking too many medications at the same time could lead to repeated fainting episodes, a new study reveals. "Simply stated, the more antihypertensive pills a patient takes, the greater the likelihood of a possible fainting spell under certain circumstances," explained one cardiologist, Dr. David Friedman, chief of Heart Failure Services at North Shore-LIJ's Plainview Hospital in Plainview, N.Y. He was not involved in the new research. In the study, Danish researchers led by Dr. Martin Ruwald of Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte looked at more than 127,000 patients, median age 64, who were hospitalized for fainting between 1997 and 2009. Of those patients, more than one-fifth had experienced at least two fainting episodes. The researchers found that the risk of repeat fainting rose with the number of medications that patients were taking at the same time. For ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Atenolol, Losartan, Hydrochlorothiazide, Benicar, Diovan, Diltiazem, Spironolactone, Bystolic, Lasix, Norvasc, Verapamil, Furosemide, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Cozaar, Nifedipine, Micardis

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