High cholesterol is well known as a risk factor for heart disease. But far too many people are under the impression that taking a medication to lower cholesterol also reduces their risk of dying from an initial heart attack. While all our experts agree that statin-type drugs such as Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor (simvastatin) are appropriate for a person who has established heart disease, they disagree about the benefits for preventing heart disease in healthy people. Learn how the benefits and risks stack up for people like you.
Guests: Robert Califf, MD, is Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research at Duke University Medical Center and Director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute.
Lisa Gill is prescription drug editor for ConsumerReportsHealth.org
Nortin Hadler, MD, MACP, FACR, FACOEM, is professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and attending rheumatologist at UNC Hospitals. His books include: The Last Well Person; Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America; and Stabbed in the Back.
The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.