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The 411 on High Triglycerides

Posted 25 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 – Cholesterol might get all the attention on test results, but triglycerides are also part of the picture of good health. They're a type of fat that travels through your bloodstream. Your body gets triglycerides from fats in the foods you eat and also makes them from other types of foods, like carbohydrates. As with cholesterol, triglyceride levels are measured in numbers. A reading below 150 is normal. Above 200 is considered high, and above 500 is very high – you may need to take a drug to lower it. It's important to know your triglyceride level; it's typically done as part of the same blood test that checks your cholesterol. There's concern over high triglycerides because of the link to certain chronic conditions. Along with belly fat, high blood pressure, low levels of good cholesterol, and higher-than-normal levels of fasting blood sugar, triglyceride ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Diagnosis and Investigation, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL

Do Statins Raise Odds for Type 2 Diabetes?

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 – Cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins may lower your risk of heart disease, but also might boost the odds you'll develop type 2 diabetes, new research suggests. "In a group of people at high risk of type 2 diabetes, statins do seem to increase the risk of developing diabetes by about 30 percent," said the study's lead author, Dr. Jill Crandall. She's a professor of medicine and director of the diabetes clinical trials unit at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. But, she added, that doesn't mean anyone should give up on statins. "The benefits of statins in terms of cardiovascular risk are so strong and so well established that our recommendation isn't that people should stop taking statins, but people should be monitored for the development of diabetes while on a statin," she explained. At least one other diabetes expert agreed that ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Insulin Resistance, Lovastatin, Zocor, Pre-Diabetes, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Diabetes Mellitus, Livalo, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease, Lescol XL, Mevacor

Statins May Help People With COPD Live Longer

Posted 8 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 – Drugs known as statins may have benefits beyond lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. A new study suggests people with chronic lung disease who take these drugs may extend their survival. The study from Canada included nearly 40,000 people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). One in five patients was taking a statin, and those individuals had a 21 percent lower risk of dying from any cause, and a 45 percent reduced risk of dying from lung-related issues, the researchers found. This study comes on the heels of a separate large-scale investigation that found no link between statin use and the number of COPD exacerbations people experienced. "While evidence from a recently completed [randomized controlled trial] suggested that statin use is of little benefit to COPD patients, this population-based analysis showed that statin use reduced all-cause ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Maintenance, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Livalo, Alpha-1 Proteinase Inhibitor Deficiency, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol

Statins Help Healthy People Lower Their 'Bad' Cholesterol

Posted 7 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 7, 2017 – Cholesterol-lowering statins reduce the risk of heart disease and death in otherwise healthy people who have very high levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, a long-term study finds. For 20 years, more than 5,500 men in Scotland who did not have heart disease but who had high levels of LDL took 40 milligrams of pravastatin, a relatively weak type of statin, daily. Doing so reduced their overall risk of death by 18 percent, the risk of death from heart disease by 28 percent, and the risk of death from other cardiovascular diseases by 25 percent. "For the first time, we show that statins reduce the risk of death in this specific group of people who appear largely healthy, except for very high LDL levels," said study senior author Dr. Kausik Ray, a professor in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. The findings challenge taking a "watch-and-wait" ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Pravachol, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Altoprev

Calcium in Arteries May Best Predict Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Posted 1 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2017 – People with no calcium buildup in their arteries seem to have a significantly lower risk of heart attack and stroke, a new study finds. Calcium collects in the arteries after plaque builds up and hardens over time, the study authors explained. For the study, researchers looked at nearly 6,200 people, aged 45 to 84, and found that those whose arteries were free of calcium deposits had a less than 3 percent chance of heart attack or stroke over the next decade. That's well below the 7.5 percent heart risk level used as a guideline to begin treatment with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, the researchers noted. The study finding held true even among people who had other risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high levels of bad cholesterol. About half of the study participants showed no calcium deposits in their arteries. "The event rates when ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Insulin Resistance, Lovastatin, Zocor, Pre-Diabetes, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Diabetes Mellitus, Livalo

New Drug, Canakinumab, May Fight Heart Disease in Whole New Way

Posted 28 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 28, 2017 – Move over, statins: New research finds that a medication aimed at dampening the body's inflammatory response may be a new tool to curb heart disease. The findings were presented Sunday at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and published in two major medical journals, The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine. The trial focused on a new drug called canakinumab, which lowered by 15 percent the overall rate of heart events such as heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death in people who'd already had a heart attack. The people in the study also had high levels of a compound called C-reactive protein in their blood – a marker that is indicative of a heightened inflammatory response. For years, heart researchers have wondered if a drug that lowered inflammation might help curb heart disease. Cardiologists had mixed ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Lescol

New Cholesterol Drugs Vastly Overpriced, Study Contends

Posted 22 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – Are new medicines for people with out-of-control cholesterol wildly overpriced? It's a question that's sparking debate among consumers and providers of care. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) report that the price of these drugs – called PCSK9 inhibitors – would have to be slashed by a whopping 71 percent to be deemed cost-effective. PCSK9 inhibitors are a relatively new class of medicines for treating patients whose LDL (bad) cholesterol isn't well-controlled on statins or who cannot tolerate statins. Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin) are examples of first-line statins doctors typically prescribe to patients with high cholesterol. The UCSF team didn't question whether these new medicines are effective in reducing heart attacks and strokes. "These are super awesome drugs, they really work," said study ... Read more

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

FDA May Limit 'Risk Info' in Direct-to-Consumer TV Drug Ads

Posted 19 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration may shorten the list of caveats for drugs you see advertised on television. Prescription drug makers must now mention all benefits and risks in direct-to-consumer advertising, presenting viewers with a litany of potential harms, both major and minor. But a new approach being considered could trim those lists to feature only the most serious and potentially fatal side effects, the FDA said Friday. The "FDA's own research on broadcast TV drug advertisements suggests that a more targeted method for delivering risk information may lead to better retention of those risks," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an agency news release. To that end, "the agency is exploring the usefulness of limiting the risks in the major statement for most drug advertisements to those that are severe [life-threatening], serious or ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Losartan, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Benicar, Diovan, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Ramipril, Valsartan, Enalapril, Cozaar, Benazepril, Micardis, Lovastatin, Zocor, Atacand, Avapro, Irbesartan

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

Heart Risks May Rise After Cancer Diagnosis

Posted 15 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2017 – As if people newly diagnosed with cancer don't have enough to worry about, a new study suggests the diagnosis may put their hearts at risk, too. The study found that newly diagnosed cancer patients are at increased risk for a condition called arterial thromboembolism, which occurs when blood flow is blocked by a clot that's traveled from another part of the body, such as the legs. The potential heart threat is higher "especially during the first six months after diagnosis," said a team led by Dr. Babak Navi, of Weill Cornell Medicine's department of neurology in New York City. Looking through a 2002-2011 database of about 140,000 cancer patients and an equal number of people without cancer, Navi's team found that cancer patients had twice the risk of an arterial thromboembolism in the six months after cancer diagnosis than patients without cancer. The study ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Ischemic Stroke, Breast Cancer, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Lovastatin, Zocor, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis

Heart Risk Up if Hospitalized for Pneumonia or Sepsis

Posted 12 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 – Adults who've been hospitalized with pneumonia or sepsis have a higher risk of heart disease, a new European study reports. Researchers examined data from nearly 237,000 Swedish men. They were followed from age 18 into middle age. The study found that those admitted to the hospital with pneumonia or sepsis (a bacterial infection of the blood) had a six times higher risk of heart disease in the following year. The rate dropped significantly during the second and third years, but was still more than double. And, by the fourth and fifth years, the risk remained almost two times higher in those who'd been hospitalized for sepsis or pneumonia compared to those who hadn't. The study was published recently in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. While most patients with sepsis or pneumonia recover from these conditions, many still have inflammation after the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Losartan, Heart Disease, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Pneumonia, Benicar, Diovan, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Angina, Ramipril, Valsartan, Enalapril, Cozaar, Benazepril

Less Than Half of U.S. Stroke Patients Get Rx for Statins

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Fewer than half of U.S. stroke survivors are prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins, a new study finds. Statins are recommended for patients who have had an ischemic stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) to reduce their risk for a repeat stroke or other cardiovascular events, according to the American Heart Association. Ischemic strokes, the most common kind, are caused by blocked blood flow to the brain. But a 10-year analysis of data from 323 ischemic stroke survivors found only 49 percent were prescribed statins when they were discharged from the hospital. The findings were published Aug. 2 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The research also found that prescribing statins varied by patients' geographic location, gender, age and race. In particular, the researchers looked at the so-called Stroke Belt – the southeastern part of ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor

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

A Reminder That Meds and Grapefruit Don't Always Mix

Posted 23 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, July 23, 2017 – If you like grapefruit juice, you need to be aware that it can affect the way some medications work, especially those used to treat high blood pressure or an irregular heart rhythm. That's the message from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA requires some prescription and over-the-counter drugs taken by mouth to include warnings against drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while taking the drug. In most types of medications that interact with grapefruit juice, "the juice lets more of the drug enter the blood. When there is too much drug in the blood, you may have more side effects," the FDA's Shiew Mei Huang said in an agency news release. Examples of types of drugs that can be affected by grapefruit include: Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, such as Zocor (simvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin). High blood pressure drugs, such as ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Grapefruit, Pravastatin, Allegra, Amiodarone, Lovastatin, Zocor, Restasis, Fexofenadine, Cyclosporine, Rosuvastatin, Allegra-D, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol

Study Hints at Link Between Some Statins, Parkinson's Risk

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – People on cholesterol-lowering statins may have a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Researchers said the finding doesn't prove statins are to blame. But, they added, the findings undercut the notion that statins might help protect against Parkinson's. Where does that idea come from? Past research has shown that people with high cholesterol tend to have a lower risk of Parkinson's, explained Dr. Xuemei Huang, a professor of neurology at Penn State College of Medicine. Since many of those people are treated with statins, that led to speculation that the drugs – rather than high cholesterol itself – might be protective. But so far, studies have come to mixed conclusions, according to Huang. Some have tied statins to a lower Parkinson's risk, while others have found either no connection or an increased risk. Enter ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Parkinson's Disease, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Caduet, Simcor, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Lescol XL, Lescol

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High Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia Type III (Elevated beta-VLDL + IDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IV (Elevated VLDL), Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

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