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Too Few Americans Are Taking Needed Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs: CDC

Posted 3 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2015 – Nearly half of American adults who should be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs don't, federal government researchers report. They also found that blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites to take medications that lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. "Nearly 800,000 people die in the U.S. each year from cardiovascular diseases – that's one in every three deaths – and high cholesterol continues to be a major risk factor," said Carla Mercado, a scientist in the division for heart disease and stroke prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This study reveals opportunities to reduce existing [racial] disparities through targeted patient education and cholesterol management programs," she said in a CDC news release. The CDC study team analyzed national data from 2005 to 2014 and found that nearly 37 percent of U.S. adults – ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Lescol

Negative News on Statins Tied to Dropped Prescriptions

Posted 2 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 – News reports on the downsides of statins may push some people to stop taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a new study hints. The findings, published Dec. 2 in the European Heart Journal, cannot prove that media stories drive statin users to give up their prescriptions. Instead, Danish researchers found a broad correlation between "negative" media coverage and people's odds of quitting a statin within six months of their first prescription. But even without a clear cause-and-effect connection, experts said it's reasonable to assume that media stories had an influence over some statin users in the study. It rings true to Dr. Thomas Whayne Jr., of the Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky. "I've seen this happen a lot," said Whayne, who was not involved in the study. "News stories come out, and you have patients saying, 'I'm not going to take ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Muscle Pain, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Zetia, Pre-Diabetes, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Heart Disease Doesn't Take a Holiday

Posted 25 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

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, Exforge, Benicar HCT, Lovastatin, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Rosuvastatin, Lotrel, Avalide, Pravachol, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Maxzide

Prescription Drug Use on the Rise in U.S.

Posted 3 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 – More Americans than ever are taking prescription drugs and they're using more of them, a new study finds. Fifty-nine percent of adults used prescription drugs in 2011-2012, up from 51 percent in 1999-2000. And 15 percent of them took five or more prescription drugs, an increase from 8 percent in the earlier period, the researchers reported. Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins), antidepressants and high blood pressure medications saw especially notable jumps in usage, the study found. "We wanted to create a comprehensive resource on prescription drug use among U.S. adults, and I think that the implications of these trends vary across classes of drugs," said lead researcher Elizabeth Kantor, who was with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston at the time of the study. Kantor said an increase in one drug class may mean more people are getting treated for a ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Metoprolol, Sertraline, Amitriptyline, Bupropion, Viibryd, Fluoxetine, Atenolol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Propranolol, Wellbutrin XL, Escitalopram, Nortriptyline

Statins May Dampen Protective Powers of Flu Vaccines

Posted 29 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2015 – Two new studies raise the possibility that the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins may blunt the effectiveness of flu vaccines in seniors. But experts caution that more research is needed to better understand the issue, and that older people shouldn't throw away their statins just yet. "There is a clear-cut benefit to persons taking statins, so patients should not stop statin use because of the study results, even for a short time," said Dr. Robert Atmar, a clinical research professor of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He co-wrote a commentary that accompanied the studies. And flu vaccines provide at least some protection in people who take statins, so "patients should still receive an influenza vaccine to be protected," Atmar added. Still, the findings raise yet another question about the safety of statins. While ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, FluLaval, Afluria, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, FluMist, Fluzone

No Need to Stop Taking Statins Before Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 27 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2015 – Stopping cholesterol-lowering statins before non-cardiac surgery is unnecessary and may increase the risk of death following the operation, researchers report. In their study, doctors from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), found that although the practice of stopping statins before an operation is no longer recommended, many patients are still being told to do so. Moreover, patients who stopped taking statins before surgery or who didn't start them again within two days after surgery had a 40 percent increased risk of dying within 30 days, the investigators found. "Recently, a number of studies have suggested that continued use of statins in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery is associated with significantly lower risk of cardiovascular events and death," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Altoprev, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pitavastatin, Fluvastatin

Heart Patients Worldwide Missing Out on Key Drugs

Posted 20 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2015 – Many patients worldwide don't receive generic life-saving heart medicines that are supposedly affordable, a new study reveals. In poor and middle-income nations, these vital medications are often not widely available or are too expensive. In rich countries, as many as half of patients with a history of heart disease or stroke still don't receive them, the researchers found. "Unless both availability and affordability of these medicines are improved, their use is likely to remain low in most of the world," they added. The study is published Oct. 21 in The Lancet. Four classes of heart medicines – aspirin, beta blockers, statins and angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors – should be available in 80 percent of communities and used by half of eligible patients by 2025, the World Health Organization says. But compliance currently is far from those targets, ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Aspirin, Metoprolol, Heart Disease, Atenolol, Losartan, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Propranolol, Arrhythmia, Benicar, Diovan, Crestor, Bystolic, Atorvastatin, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Angina, Ramipril, Bisoprolol

Younger Women Less Likely to Take Meds After Heart Attack

Posted 13 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2015 – Younger women who've had a heart attack are less likely than men to be taking the appropriate heart medications one year later, new Canadian research shows. These findings underscore previous studies that show fewer women take these drugs than men. Researchers said this discrepancy has important implications for how doctors approach treatment for younger women who've had a heart attack. "The gender gap in treatment initiation among younger women is an important finding because younger women have much worse outcomes after suffering a heart attack than do men of the same age," said study co-author Karin Humphries, an associate professor of cardiology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. "This finding suggests that younger women should be treated aggressively, especially when we have medications that work," Humphries added in a news release from ... Read more

Related support groups: Metoprolol, Atenolol, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Propranolol, Crestor, Bystolic, Atorvastatin, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Inderal, Zocor, Azor, Sotalol, Exforge, Benicar HCT, Lovastatin

Sharp Spike Seen in Statin Use in Elderly Without Heart Disease

Posted 24 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2015 – There has been a sharp rise in the use of cholesterol-lowering statins among elderly patients who do not have heart disease, a new study finds. But there is little research to guide the use of these medicines in this group of patients, the investigators added. In the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 13,000 people who took part in an annual national survey between 1999 and 2012. "We found high rates of statin use in primary prevention among patients older than 79 years old who didn't have vascular disease," lead investigator Dr. Michael Johansen, a family medicine physician at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, said in a university news release. Rates of heart disease among the very elderly people rose from about 28 percent in 1999-2000 to nearly 44 percent in 2011-12, but this increase was believed to be related to survey methods. Over ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Fluvastatin, Altoprev

Wider Use of Statin Drugs Could Save Thousands More Lives: Report

Posted 14 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 – New expert guidelines from two major cardiologists' groups may boost doctors' ability to spot patients who should take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, researchers said. The updated guidelines were released in 2013 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Now, a new report finds they are more accurate and efficient than earlier guidelines in identifying adults at high risk for heart trouble who could gain from statins. All of that should add up to lives saved, the researchers said. "Extrapolating our results to the approximately 10 million U.S. adults who would be newly eligible for statin therapy under the new guidelines, we estimate that between 41,000 and 63,000 cardiovascular events – heart attacks, strokes or deaths from cardiovascular disease – would be prevented over a 10-year period," lead researcher Dr. Udo Hoffman, ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Lescol

Calcium Scan Can Predict Premature Death Risk, Study Says

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 – A scan of calcium deposits inside your arteries can help doctors deduce how long you're likely to live, a new study has found. The test, called a coronary calcium scan, uses a regular CT scan to look for calcium deposits in the three major arteries that carry blood away from the heart, said lead author Leslee Shaw, a professor of cardiology at Emory University in Atlanta. People with the largest amounts of calcium in their arteries carry an early death risk that's six times greater than those with no calcium deposits, researchers found in a 15-year study of nearly 10,000 patients. "If you had no calcium or very small amounts, we were able to track over a very long time that you actually had a very outstanding survival," Shaw said. Calcium deposits develop as a response to plaque formation along the artery walls, Shaw said. These plaques, which are caused by blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Acute Coronary Syndrome - Prophylaxis, Altoprev

Do Cholesterol Drugs Affect Aggression?

Posted 1 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might influence a person's aggressive behaviors, increasing or decreasing their irritability and violent tendencies, a new clinical trial suggests. Men taking statins typically become less aggressive, while women on statins tend to become more aggressive, according to findings published July 1 in the journal PLOS ONE. "Clinicians should be aware of this, and it's not bad for patients to be aware of it," said lead author Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a principal investigator at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. "If an individual develops a behavioral change, in my view medication should always be considered as a possibility." However, the effect appears to be minimal and needs to be verified with follow-up studies, said one outside expert, Robert Geffner, founding president of the Institute on Violence, Abuse & ... Read more

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

Statins Might Reduce Complications After Major Lung Surgery

Posted 26 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

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, Mevacor, Lescol XL, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Altoprev

Can U.S. Health-Care System Afford New, Improved Cholesterol Drugs?

Posted 18 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 18, 2015 – A new class of powerful cholesterol drugs is poised to hit the market, and doctors are both hopeful about their potential, and worried that insurers won't pay for them. The drugs, known as PCSK9 inhibitors, can drastically cut LDL cholesterol – the "bad" kind linked to increased risks of heart attack and stroke. And they are expected to open up a new option for people who cannot take statins, the drugs that have been the standard for cholesterol-lowering since the 1980s. Last week, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended the agency approve two PCSK9 inhibitors: alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha). The FDA, which usually follows the recommendations of its advisory panels, is expected to OK both drugs. Some cardiologists have heralded PCSK9 inhibitors as a breakthrough – particularly for patients who can't take statins ... Read more

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

Seeing Their Clogged Arteries Can Spur Healthy Changes in Patients

Posted 15 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – Seeing images of their narrowed heart arteries may convince some heart disease patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle and take prescribed medications, a new study suggests. "Seeing their calcified coronary arteries on the CT image was clearly an eye-opener for patients. We received comments such as, 'It is my coronary artery and my coronary artery calcification and I am facing a real risk and challenge,' " said study author Rikke Elmose Mols, a nurse and Ph.D. student at Aarhus University Hospital-Skejby in Denmark. "This may be the wake-up call patients need to take their medication and modify their behaviors to reduce their risk of having a coronary artery event," Mols said in a European Society of Cardiology news release. The research included 189 people recently diagnosed with early stage heart disease. Half were shown a CT image of calcium buildup on the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Angina, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease, Lescol XL

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