A recent Modern Healthcare article reported that: “ More than half of adults between ages 40 and 75 who need help managing cholesterol would be eligible for statin therapy for the prevention of heart disease on the basis of the newest American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines…The new guidelines have the potential to increase the net number of new statin prescriptions by 12.8 million.”
“With more than 115 million U.S. adults estimated to be between the ages of 40 and 75, the analysis suggests the total number of potential statin users could expand to 56 million, and the majority would be above age 60.”
When the new guidelines were published last year, several groups weighed in with opinions about the potential impact, including Dr. Rita Redberg, editor of JAMA Internal Medicine. “The new guidelines, “essentially declared, in one fell swoop, that millions of healthy Americans should immediately start taking pills—namely statins—for undefined health ‘benefits,’” she wrote in an New York Times op-ed. “This may sound like good news for patients, and it would be—if statins actually offered meaningful protection from our No. 1 killer, heart disease; if they helped people live longer or better; and if they had minimal adverse side effects. However, none of these are the case,” she said.”
It is always a good idea to talk to your primary care practitioner, the clinician who knows you best.
Click here to read the full MHC article “New heart guidelines would qualify 12.8M more for statin therapy” by Sabriya Rice.
Doctor, Did You Wash Your Hands? ™ provides information to consumers on understanding, managing and navigating health care options.
Jonathan M. Metsch, Dr.P.H., is Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Adjunct Professor, Baruch College ( C.U.N.Y.), Rutgers School of Public Health, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.
This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.