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

Posted 5 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, Altoprev

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

Posted 7 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

Taking Statins May Boost Heart Surgery Outcomes

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 – Heart surgery patients taking statins should keep taking those cholesterol-lowering drugs, even on the day of their operation, because doing so may improve their chances of survival, a new study suggests. "Based on our findings, we would advise patients to continue taking their statin medication all the way up to and including the day of surgery," said study author Dr. Wei Pan. Statins are one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States. One in four Americans 40 or older takes a statin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the new study, Pan's team looked at more than 3,000 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Pan is a cardiovascular anesthesiologist at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. The findings showed that the rate of death from all causes within 30 days was about 2 percent for ... 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, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Altoprev, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Fluvastatin, Baycol

'Red Yeast Rice' Statin Alternative Not Harmless Either, Study Says

Posted 24 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 2017 – A natural cholesterol-lowering supplement called red yeast rice could pose the same health risks to users as statin drugs, a new study contends. Red yeast rice could increase risk of muscle injury or liver damage, Italian researchers reported after reviewing 13 years of patient data. "These findings raise the hypothesis that the safety profile of red yeast rice is highly similar to that of synthetic statins and warrants further investigations to finally characterize the safety profile of red yeast rice," the researchers concluded. American heart experts said it's not surprising that the researchers discovered adverse reactions to red yeast rice that are similar to those produced by statins. That's because one of the compounds in red yeast rice – monacolin K – has the same chemical structure as the statin drug lovastatin, said Dr. Paul Thompson. "Statins ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Advicor, Pitavastatin, Fluvastatin, Baycol

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

Prices Skyrocket on Drugs Widely Used by Seniors: Report

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – The prices of brand-name drugs used by many older Americans rose nearly 130 times faster than inflation last year, a new study reports. "This new report once again highlights the high and unrelenting price increases that are shockingly common in the pharmaceutical market," said Debra Whitman. She is chief public policy officer at AARP, a nonprofit organization focused on social welfare issues. "What's particularly remarkable is that these incredibly high price increases are still occurring in the face of the intense public and congressional criticism of prescription drug pricing practices," Whitman said in an AARP news release. The researchers examined the prices of 268 brand-name prescription drugs widely used by seniors, including 49 in drug categories that are used to treat common and often chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Diabetes, Type 1, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Diabetes Mellitus, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Lescol XL, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance

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, Fluvastatin, Liptruzet

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

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, Caduet, Repatha, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL

Statins May Boost Survival Odds After Cardiac Arrest

Posted 13 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Nov. 12, 2016 – The odds of surviving cardiac arrest seem higher for patients who've been taking cholesterol-lowering statins, a new study shows. Researchers in Taiwan studied the medical records of nearly 138,000 cardiac arrest patients. Those already using statins such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) or Crestor (rosuvastatin) were about 19 percent more likely to survive to hospital admission and 47 percent more likely to be discharged. Also, they were 50 percent more likely to be alive a year later, the study found. "When considering statin use for patients with high cholesterol, the benefit of surviving sudden cardiac arrest should also be considered, as statin use before cardiac arrest might improve outcomes of those patients," said study author Dr. Ping-Hsun Yu. Yu is a researcher from the National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine in New Taipei City. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Cardiac Arrest, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Altoprev

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, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin

Take Meds as Directed to Boost Survival After Heart Procedures

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – Taking medications as prescribed improves outcomes for heart procedure patients, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 973 heart bypass patients and 2,255 patients who underwent angioplasty and stenting to reopen clogged heart arteries. Heart bypass surgery is when surgeons take a piece of blood vessel from somewhere else in the body to bypass a blocked portion of the heart's artery. Angioplasty is performed using a thin catheter that's threaded through the blood vessels to the heart. A balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated to open the narrowed blood vessel. Sometimes a stent (a mesh or wire tube) will be left in the blood vessel to keep it open. Prescribed medications in the study included cholesterol-lowering statins, blood thinners and beta blockers. Follow-up information was collected 12 to 18 months after the heart procedures. Overall, ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Aspirin, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Lipitor, Propranolol, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Bisoprolol, Inderal, Excedrin, Coreg, Sotalol, Zocor, Lovastatin, Lopressor

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, Azor, Zocor, 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, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Livalo

Many With Diabetes Missing Out on Statins

Posted 12 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2016 – Nearly all middle-aged patients with diabetes should be taking cholesterol-lowering statins, but cardiologists fail to prescribe these medications for 2 out of every 5 diabetics in their care, a new study finds. Multiple prior studies have shown that diabetics have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke if they take a statin, even those with no history of heart problems, said senior study author Dr. Salim Virani, a cardiologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. "That's not debatable at this point," said Virani, who is also an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine. "They should all be on statins." But analysis of data from 204 cardiology practices across the United States revealed that 38 percent of middle-aged diabetics have not been prescribed statins. The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Altoprev, Fluvastatin, Baycol

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High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL)

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