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Guidelines May Miss Need for Statins in Many U.S. Blacks

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, March 18, 2017 – U.S. medical organizations have conflicting guidelines on the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs in blacks, a new study finds. Researchers say that about one in four black Americans who are recommended to take a statin under guidelines from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association would no longer qualify for such therapy under new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF is an influential government-appointed group whose decisions often influence health care, including insurance coverage. The new study was led by Dr. Venkatesh Murthy of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. His team noted that while many studies have used artery scans to assess the need for statins by white patients, no such studies have focused on black patients. However, compared with whites, black Americans are at higher ... Read more

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

New Cholesterol Drugs May Beat Statins, But Price Tag Is High

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 – Two different injectable drugs can lower cholesterol levels even further than statins do, potentially warding off future heart attacks or strokes, new research suggests. However, some heart experts question whether the pricey medications, one of which costs roughly $14,000 a year to take, perform well enough to make them worth the extra money. In fact, some cardiologists said the drugs should be reserved only for patients with the highest heart risks. The drugs, evolocumab (Repatha) and inclisiran, both work by targeting PCSK9, an enzyme that regulates the liver's ability to remove "bad" LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. By blocking the enzyme, the medications spur the body to screen out more cholesterol. Clinical trial results showed that evolocumab was linked to a 15 percent reduction in the risk of major heart events in patients who are already taking ... Read more

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

Too Much Screen Time May Raise Kids' Diabetes Risk

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – Kids who get too much screen time may be more likely to have risk factors that increase their chances of type 2 diabetes, new research says. Watching television, playing video games or sitting in front of a computer or other device for more than three hours each day was linked to more body fat and insulin resistance. Those factors mean the body is less able to keep blood sugar levels under control, the British researchers said. They said limiting children's screen time could be necessary to prevent health issues later on. "Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing type 2 diabetes risk factors, in both boys and girls and in different ethnic groups from an early age," wrote the study authors, led by Claire Nightingale, from St. George's University of London. "This is particularly relevant, given rising levels of type 2 ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, High Cholesterol, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Hypertriglyceridemia, Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Intravenous Insulin Drip

Health Tip: Help Kids Maintain Healthy Cholesterol

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Most people don't worry about high cholesterol until they become adults, but the truth is that cholesterol can be a problem in childhood. Here's what the American Academy of Family Physicians suggests: Encourage your child to eat at least five daily servings of fruit and vegetables. Build meals and snacks around lean proteins, whole grains and veggies. Limit trans and saturated fats, found in animal and dairy products, fried foods and processed foods. Avoid fast food. If you do eat it, opt for healthier menu choices. Limit screen time (TV and computers) to no more than two hours per day. Encourage your child to get at least one hour of physical activity daily. Schedule fun family outings, such as a hike or bike ride. Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, High Cholesterol, Hypertriglyceridemia

1 in 7 Obese People Has Normal Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

Posted 20 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 9, 2017 – Can people really be healthy and obese? In one of the largest studies to date, researchers quantified the number of U.S. adults who are overweight or obese but don't have typical risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. Of 1.3 million overweight and obese people studied, 14 percent had normal blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure readings, the study found. Doctors use these "cardiometabolic" measures to help identify people at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke or developing type 2 diabetes. But calling these people "healthy obese" is a misnomer, said lead author Gregory Nichols. "Just because they don't currently have risk factors doesn't mean they're not going to," said Nichols, a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. The study suggests that might be true: Less than 2.8 percent of ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Hypertriglyceridemia, Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Cholesterol's Impact on Heart Attack Risk May Change With Age

Posted 8 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 – Cholesterol's impact on heart attack may differ by age, new research suggests. The study found that younger heart attack patients are much more likely to have significantly low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, rather than high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol. The findings might help doctors pinpoint which of their younger patients are in need of cholesterol-lowering therapies, the researchers said. "We . . . want to look at prescribing patterns for statins in younger patients who are at increased risk for heart disease," said study lead author Bradley Collins, a fourth-year student at Harvard Medical School. "Ultimately, we would like to develop new tools for calculating heart attack risk that are more applicable to younger people," Collins said in a news release from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Most people who get their cholesterol checked ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Myocardial Infarction, Hypertriglyceridemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Many Hospital Workers Are an Unhealthy Lot: Study

Posted 7 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 – More than three-quarters of workers at six Houston hospitals are overweight or obese, a new study shows. Researchers surveyed 924 employees – mostly technicians and administrators – about their health status and diet. Doctors weren't part of the survey. The results showed that 78 percent were overweight or obese. Fruit and vegetable consumption was generally low in all weight groups. Those who were obese had much higher daily consumption of white potatoes such as french fries, regular-fat foods (versus reduced- or low-fat), sugary beverages and added butter and margarine than those of normal weight. The study also found that 65 percent of respondents had no days of vigorous physical activity. About half had no days with moderate physical activity. Compared to those with normal weight, overweight and obese respondents spent more time doing things such as ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Lisinopril, Metformin, Metoprolol, Insulin, Atenolol, Weight Loss, High Cholesterol, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Lantus, Bystolic, Glucophage, Ramipril, Novolog, Glipizide, Bisoprolol, Humalog

Know Your Heart's Numbers

Posted 7 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 – More than two-thirds of Americans fret about heart disease, but few know the specific information that can help them boost their heart health, a new survey finds. "Studies have suggested the majority of coronary artery disease events can be prevented by addressing treatable risk factors," said Dr. Steve Nissen, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. "That means, a little knowledge regarding your 'numbers' could go a long way to helping keep your heart healthy and avoiding future problems," he added in a clinic news release. Treatable risk factors for heart disease include blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI - an estimate of body fat based on height and weight), waist circumference, blood sugar and weight. The telephone survey of just over 1,000 adults, aged 18 and older, found that 68 percent were worried about heart disease. But ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Vitamins, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Heart Disease, Atenolol, High Cholesterol, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Multivitamin, Spironolactone, Lasix, Bystolic, Furosemide, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Fish Oil, Multivitamin With Minerals

Heart Risks May Boost Women's Colon Cancer Risk, Too

Posted 1 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 – Even normal-weight women may be at greater risk for colon cancer if they have certain traits, such as elevated levels of blood fat, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and low levels of good cholesterol, a new study suggests. Among older women of normal weight, those with so-called metabolic risk factors had a 49 percent increased risk for cancers of the colon, rectum and sigmoid colon (the lower part of the intestine connecting the rectum and colon) compared with healthy counterparts. Current guidelines recommend colon cancer screening primarily based on a person's age. But identifying at-risk individuals by their metabolic type could help prevent these cancers and catch them at an earlier stage, saving more lives, the study authors concluded. The takeaway: "Know your own metabolic health, even if your weight is normal," said Juhua Luo, the study's senior ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Cancer, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Spironolactone, Ramipril, Cozaar, Micardis, Valsartan, Enalapril, Benazepril, Colorectal Cancer, Avapro

Fat Near the Heart a Hazard for Postmenopausal Women

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 – When a certain type of fat collects around the heart, it may be a sign of developing heart disease in postmenopausal women, a new study suggests. As estrogen levels fall during menopause, deposits of "paracardial" fat increase, the researchers found. This may cause more calcium build-up in the heart's arteries, an early sign of heart disease. Paracardial fat sits in pockets around the heart. These pockets lie between the heart and another type of fat that covers the heart called epicardial fat, the study authors explained. Epicardial fat provides energy to the heart, but paracardial fat has no known beneficial function, the researchers said. "We are showing for the first time that paracardial fat is associated with greater risk of calcification [calcium build-up] in postmenopausal women, more than in premenopausal women," said lead researcher Samar El Khoudary. ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Hot Flashes, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders, Premarin, Ethinyl Estradiol, Estrace, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Vagifem, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Vivelle, Climara, Atrophic Vaginitis, Estring, Hypertriglyceridemia, Vivelle-Dot, Premarin Vaginal, Estradiol Patch

Study Suggests Newer Cholesterol Drugs Are Safe

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2017 – A combination of drugs that drastically lowers "bad" cholesterol levels appears safe for heart patients, but whether it prevents heart attacks or strokes isn't yet known, researchers report. "It may be that people need very low cholesterol levels to get a benefit in terms of heart attacks and stroke reduction, but that remains to be determined," said lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Robinson. She directs the University of Iowa's Preventive Intervention Center. It had been feared that very low levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol might trigger memory problems or nervous system disorders, but all the researchers found was a slightly increased risk of cataracts. That increased risk may have shown up because some of the people in the study were older and already prone to cataracts, although it could be something about the treatment itself, Robinson said. In the study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Crestor, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Hypertriglyceridemia, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Repatha, Praluent, Alirocumab, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome, Evolocumab, Repatha Pushtronex

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, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor

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

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

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, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous

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