What You Need to Know About the New Cholesterol Guidelines

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have lowered the recommended threshold for when to prescribe statins. Alice Park, Time magazine staff writer covering health, explains the shift in guidelines and what it will mean for those with high cholesterol.


Alice Park

Comments [8]

Millie Hughes-Fulford

The guidelines seem to be targeting medicare money. PLug in numbers cholesterol 180. hdl 57, systolic bp136 not on meds

then use age 40, 59, 69 and 79 for male or female. it goes up with age period. at age 40 a woman would have heart risk of 0.5 same female same numbers at age 59 has a 3.1% risk factor at age 69 risk factor ramps up to 9.6 and at age 79 would have a 28.2% risk factor. yep, the algorithm is based on age alone. And it means that anyone with no known risk factor would be on statins by age 59.

Smooth way to get another 30 million people on expensive drugs.

Mar. 30 2015 04:16 AM
Jen from NJ

This doesn't pass the sniff test. Did pharma fund the study? They've done it before. Gotta get everybody in the country on overpriced drugs. It's been working so well. We are the most over-medicated country in the world, and pay the most for our drugs.

Nov. 14 2013 04:51 PM
mike Sanchez from Bronx NY 10475

My concern is, statins studies, what about the data, was it done with Big Pharma in mind and really neglecting the bigger picture; the population with lower cholesterol are prone to heart attacks?

Nov. 13 2013 02:00 PM
BK from Hoboken

Henriette- HUGE oversimplification there. What JAMA article said actually supports the new guideline discussed today, which is to look beyond the LDL numbers and assess risk based on patient genetics, history, comorbidities, etc. The article in NO way says that the across the board risks outweigh the benefits. There are plenty of diseases in which a patient may have out of norm lab numbers but are otherwise healthy and/or asymptomatic. It is only in this population that JAMA says men shouldn't bother with statins.

Nov. 13 2013 11:36 AM
Bob from Westchester, NY

To the suspicious of drug-company caller: Most of the statins (most notably the largest seller Lipitor) are now available as generics, so the windfall for Big Pharma is somewhat limited. More to the point, as the final caller/doctor noted, most doctors take statins themselves.

Nov. 13 2013 11:29 AM
Dr. Edward Murach, ND, LAc. from NYC / Katonah, NY

Statin drugs lower cholesterol by INHIBITING the enzyme (HMG CoA Reductase) which facilitates the production of cholesterol.
The medical community is concerned that cholesterol levels = heart disease.

Why not ask the question what INCREASES the enzyme's activity?

It turns out that insulin levels strongly increase the enzyme's activity.
Thus, increasing cholesterol levels.
It also turns out that insulin is a very potent regulator of inflammation

We know that Type 2 Diabetics have increased risks for heart disease.
And that Type 2 Diabetics have higher levels of inflammation.

As a Naturopathic Physician, the underlying root cause of elevated cholesterol is elevated Fasting Insulin levels. And this is strongly connected with the inflammatory model of heart disease.

Nov. 13 2013 11:27 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Whoa, not having had a heart attack doesn't mean your heart is healthy! The 1st heart attack shows that your heart already wasn't healthy.

Nov. 13 2013 11:22 AM
Henriette from Port washington

In 2012 Journal of the American Medical Association warned against statins. More risks than benefits.

Nov. 13 2013 11:18 AM

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