The number of Americans taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs could double under new guidelines released by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

According to the new study, obesity should be treated like a disease and cholesterol-lowering statins can prevent cardiovascular disease in more Americans than previously thought.

Up until now, treatment with cholesterol-lowering drugs in this country was used only for patients with a 20% probability of heart attack — approximately 36 million Americans.  But the new treatment guidelines would roughly double that figure. The goal of prescribing statins to as many as 70 million people is to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes in the United States, not simply lower a patient’s LDL cholesterol – the kind most closely linked to disease risk. Los Angeles Times Report

Yet while the cholesterol reducing drugs may be effective to treat heart ailments and strokes, statins such as Lipitor have  been  associate with an increase in  type 2 diabetes in older women.

In fact, following studies revealing the link between Lipitor and the development of type 2 diabetes, the FDA required manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to cite risks on their warning labels.//www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm293330.htm

For more information about the new statin guidelines, visit //blog.heart.org/new-heart-disease-and-stroke-prevention-guidelines-released/

To learn more about the FDAs statin warnings, visit //www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm293101.htm

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