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Many Heart Attack Patients Fail to Stick With Statins

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 – High doses of powerful statin drugs have been shown to avert future heart problems, including heart attack and stroke. Yet many heart attack patients stop taking these medicines as recommended, a new study reveals. Researchers examined data for heart attack patients who had a prescription for a "high-intensity" statin filled within 30 days of being discharged from the hospital. Two years later, only 42 percent were taking these medicines regularly, the study found. Thirteen percent switched to a low- or moderate-intensity statin, while 19 percent weren't taking a statin regularly. Close to 1 in 5 stopped taking any statin altogether, the researchers said. The lack of adherence to recommended high-intensity statin therapy is short-sighted, suggested study lead author Dr. Robert Rosenson. "The message is that the benefits of statins continue to accrue over ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

Conflicting Statin Guidelines Leave Millions in 'Gray Zone'

Posted 10 days ago 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, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia

Keys to Heart Disease Care: Communication and Trust

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 – People with heart disease may fare better when they feel they can trust and talk to their doctor, two new studies suggest. In one study, researchers found that heart patients who thought their doctors were good communicators were more likely to take aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs. They were also less likely to land in the ER. In the other study, patients were more apt to take their blood pressure medication if they generally trusted the medical profession. It's no secret that communication and trust are important in any doctor-patient relationship, according to Dr. Victor Okunrintemi, the lead researcher on the communication study. What's not clear is how those things affect heart patients' health, said Okunrintemi, who is based at Baptist Health South Florida in Miami. The new findings, he said, don't prove that doctors can keep their patients out of ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Aggrenox, Rosuvastatin, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin

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

Posted 19 Mar 2017 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 17 Mar 2017 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 16 Mar 2017 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, Mevacor, Lescol XL, Advicor, Baycol, Altoprev, Pitavastatin

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, Mevacor, Lescol XL, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Liptruzet, Altoprev

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, Pravastatin, Pradaxa, Zocor, Lovastatin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Dabigatran

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, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Repatha, Caduet, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Mevacor

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, Fluvastatin

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, Mevacor, Lescol XL, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Altoprev

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, Propranolol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Bisoprolol, Excedrin, Coreg, Inderal, Sotalol, Zocor, Lovastatin, Toprol-XL

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