New guidelines on statin use from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association will put many more people on these cholesterol-lowering drugs. But doctors will be approaching the decision to prescribe them quite differently. Instead of measuring your cholesterol and prescribing a pill to lower it to “target range,” physicians will be considering overall risk factors.
As before, everyone who has been diagnosed with heart disease will take a statin, and so will those with hereditary high cholesterol that results in LDL over 190. Everyone with diabetes over the age of 40 (up to age 75) will be a candidate for statin treatment. Others will be treated according to the risk determined with a risk calculator taking age, gender, race, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking into consideration. We interview three physicians to get their take on the new approach to statins, and we’ll take your calls. You can read the guidelines and find the CV risk calculator. We will discuss the pros and cons.
Call in your questions and comments about this new approach to preventing heart disease at 888-472-3366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org between 7 and 8 am EDT.
Guests: Steven Nissen, MD, is chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He is the co-author, with Mark Gillinov, MD, of Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need.
Sidney C. Smith, Jr, MD, FACC, FAHA, FESC, is Professor in the Department of Medicine (division of cardiology) at UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC. He is a past president of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Heart Federation (WHF). Dr. Smith served on the task force that created the new guidelines.
David Perlmutter, MD, is a neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is President of the Perlmutter Health Center in Naples, Florida, and the co-founder and president of The Perlmutter Brain Foundation. His books include The Better Brain Book and Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers.
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