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Related terms: Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Homozygous, Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Homozygous FH, Hypercholesterolemia, Familial Homozygous

Many Patients Denied Costly New Cholesterol Drugs

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – Expensive new medicines offer hope to patients with uncontrolled "bad" cholesterol, but the high cost keeps many patients from getting them, a new study says. The injectable drugs – approved for use in the United States in 2015 – are known as PCSK9 inhibitors. They include Praluent (alirocumab) and Repatha (evolocumab). But, researchers found, of tens of thousands of patients prescribed the drugs, nearly half were denied insurance coverage. And high copays seemed to prevent many others from filling their prescriptions. "We were surprised by how little clinical factors – like how high your cholesterol was – mattered to whether or not you got approved," said study lead author Dr. Ann Marie Navar. "We hope that this analysis prompts a bigger assessment of how limited patient access is to new therapies," added Navar, an assistant professor of cardiology at ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Praluent, Alirocumab, Evolocumab, Repatha Pushtronex

Powerful New Cholesterol Med Won't Harm Memory, Easing Concerns

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Despite some early concerns, a new study suggests the powerful cholesterol drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors may not cause memory problems or other mental symptoms. The drugs, which include evolocumab (Repatha) and alirocumab (Praluent), were approved in the United States in 2015. That came after trials showed they can dramatically slash LDL cholesterol (the "bad" kind), including in people with a genetic condition that often causes premature heart disease. But early findings also hinted at a potential side effect: cognitive problems such as memory lapses and confusion. The risk was small, though, and it was not clear whether the drugs were actually causing the problems. Enter the new study. It's the first to actually follow PCSK9 patients over time, looking for new memory problems or other cognitive issues, said lead researcher Dr. Robert Giugliano. The study ... Read more

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

Is the 'Anti-Statin' Trend Threatening Lives?

Posted 25 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 24, 2017 – A wave of anti-science skepticism may put people with high cholesterol at risk if they're convinced to quit life-saving statin medications, heart experts warn. An "internet-driven cult" is attacking the safety and effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering statins, despite mounds of clinical trial data showing the drugs work and produce minimal side effects, said Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. "Unfortunately, we're in an era now where, with the internet, people with fringe views like this can gain the upper hand," Nissen said. "They've been very aggressive promoting to the public the idea that these drugs that are responsible for saving millions of lives are somehow bad for you." Most side effects associated with statins are minor and can be addressed by adjusting the dose or switching to another type of statin, Nissen ... Read more

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

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, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia

Migraine and Stroke Risk Linked Again

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Women who experience migraines have more than double the risk of suffering a stroke, new research shows. The finding adds evidence to the suspected link between these two conditions. Although it's not yet clear why this connection may exist, study lead author Dr. Cecil Rambarat said it's important for health care providers to be aware of the link. "This is important since migraine is generally not considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease," said Rambarat. He's a resident physician at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville. "Maybe providers need to factor in migraine headaches as a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease among women," he said. "This is not being done currently." Previous research has linked migraines – especially the form known as migraine with aura – to stroke. Migraine with aura is estimated to affect one ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Migraine, Provera, Mirena, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, NuvaRing, Sprintec, Implanon, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Yasmin, Plan B One-Step, Loestrin 24 Fe, Smoking, Ortho Evra, Heart Disease, TriNessa, High Cholesterol

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, Red Yeast Rice, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Caduet, Repatha, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL

Parent-Child Screening Urged for Inherited Heart Condition

Posted 27 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2016 – Young children should be screened for a type of genetic heart disease that significantly increases their risk of a heart attack at a young age, a new British study suggests. The screening could also identify parents with familial hypercholesterolemia. The condition, which causes high cholesterol levels, is the main inherited cause of early heart disease, the study authors said. Without preventive medication, people with familial hypercholesterolemia have a 10-fold increased risk of heart attack before age 40, the study noted. Researchers tested more than 10,000 children in England and found that one in 270 had familial hypercholesterolemia. That rate is nearly double the previously reported one in 500, the researchers said. After a child with familial hypercholesterolemia was identified, their parents underwent screening. Overall, one in every 125 persons ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Diagnosis and Investigation

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

Genetic High-Cholesterol Condition More Common Than Thought

Posted 14 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 – Twice as many people as previously thought are genetically predisposed to develop dangerously high cholesterol levels, new research suggests. Familial hypercholesterolemia, as this condition is called, significantly ups the risk for an early heart attack. The study found it affects about one in every 250 American men and women, rather than one in 500. The new numbers don't reflect a problem on the rise, however, said study author Dr. Sarah de Ferranti, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Instead, the condition was previously "under-recognized," she explained. For those who have this potentially deadly condition, "it is extremely important to get early, consistent preventive care," de Ferranti said. "The key is for you and your clinician to understand and distinguish between mild to moderately high cholesterol that comes on in middle ... Read more

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

Statins May Reduce Heart Risks Linked to Sleep Apnea: Study

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 – A new discovery about the way sleep apnea may raise the risk of heart disease also suggests that taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might reduce that risk, according to a new study. Sleep apnea is a common disorder that involves irregular breathing while asleep, with oxygen intake dropping frequently for brief periods. The condition can triple a person's risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other heart problems, said study author Dr. Sanja Jelic, an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Statins such as Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin) are already taken by millions of Americans to reduce their risk of heart disease. "If the beneficial effects of statins on blood vessel health in patients with obstructive sleep apnea is confirmed in larger clinical trials, obstructive sleep apnea may ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Lescol

U.S. Task Force Backs Statins for Those 40 to 75 at Heightened Heart Risk

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs should be used to prevent a first heart attack or stroke in certain at-risk patients, according to a draft recommendation released Monday by the nation's leading experts in preventive medicine. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said statins can provide maximum preventive benefits for adults 40 to 75 years old who have an existing risk factor for heart disease and at least a 10 percent or greater risk of a heart attack or stroke sometime within the next 10 years. The independent panel added that people with a 10-year risk of heart attack and stroke between 7.5 percent and 10 percent might also benefit from statins, and should discuss the matter with their doctor. "Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death, and people with no signs or symptoms or past history of cardiovascular disease can still be at risk," said ... Read more

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

U.S. Task Force Stays Neutral on Cholesterol Screening for Kids

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 – There's not enough evidence to recommend screening all children and teens for high cholesterol, experts say. It's not clear if such screening up to age 20 reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in a draft recommendation released Monday. This is unchanged from a 2007 recommendation. "There is currently not enough research to determine whether screening all average-risk children and adolescents without symptoms leads to better cardiovascular health in adulthood," task force vice chair Dr. David Grossman said in a news release from the task force. "In addition, the potential harms of long-term use of cholesterol-lowering medication by children and adolescents are not yet understood," Grossman added. The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based ... Read more

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

One in Five U.S. Kids Over Age 5 Has Unhealthy Cholesterol: CDC

Posted 10 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2015 – Twenty-one percent of American children and teens have some form of "abnormal" blood cholesterol reading that leaves them at heightened risk for heart disease and stroke as they reach adulthood. That's the conclusion of a review of 2011-2014 federal health data compiled by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, slightly more than 13 percent of kids had unhealthily low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol – the kind that actually might help clear out arteries. The CDC says just over 8 percent had too-high levels of other forms of cholesterol that are bad for arteries, and more than 7 percent had unhealthily high levels of "total" cholesterol. Obesity helped drive these trends, the CDC said. For example, more than 43 percent of children who were obese had some form of abnormal cholesterol reading, compared to less than 14 ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

Study Sees Link Between High Cholesterol and Tendon Trouble

Posted 16 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 16, 2015 – High cholesterol levels may increase your risk of tendon problems and pain, a new study suggests. Tendons are the tough fibers connecting the body's muscles and bones. The researchers suspect cholesterol buildup in immune cells can lead to chronic low-level inflammation, prompting tendon abnormalities and pain. They analyzed 17 studies published between 1973 and 2014 that included more than 2,600 people. Compared to those with normal tendon structure, people with abnormal tendon structure had higher total cholesterol. They also had higher levels of "bad" low-density cholesterol, lower levels of "good" high-density cholesterol, and higher levels of blood fats called triglycerides, the researchers found. People with high cholesterol levels were also much more likely to have tendon injuries, higher levels of musculoskeletal-related pain in their arms, and thicker ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Tendonitis, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Hyperlipoproteinemia

FDA Approves Repatha for High Cholesterol

Posted 31 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2015 – Repatha (evolocumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the second non-statin drug in its class approved to treat high cholesterol. The injected drug, among a new class called PCSK9 inhibitors, is sanctioned for people who are unable to reduce levels of the so-called LDL "bad" cholesterol with statin therapy and exercise, the agency said in a news release. Low-density lipoprotein, commonly known as LDL, builds up in the blood from natural and food sources, and is a leading cause of heart disease. About one in four deaths in the United States is linked to heart disease, making it the top cause of death among men and women. The condition kills about 610,000 people in the United States annually, the FDA said. Repatha is an antibody that targets the PCSK9 protein, which inhibits the liver's ability to remove LDL from the blood. Its most ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Evolocumab

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