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NEWS
November 15, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Statins, the popular cholesterol-lowering medications, appear to actually break down some of the blockage in clogged coronary arteries, researchers reported Tuesday. Doctors gave high doses of rosuvastatin (40 milligrams), atorvastatin or Lipitor (80 mg) to 1,385 people with evidence of heart disease and used ultrasound to measure the amount of plaque in their arteries. This was the largest study ever using this method to assess heart disease progression or recession. The patients were followed for two years.
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SCIENCE
April 25, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
People who took statins to lower their cholesterol levels ate more calories and fat in 2009-10 than did those who took them a decade earlier, raising the question of whether the drug provides a false sense of dietary security. Researchers who used data from a national health survey found that in 1999-2000, people who took statins ate fewer calories, by an average of 179 a day, and less fat than people who didn't take them. The differences began to shrink, and by 2005-06, the difference was insignificant.
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HEALTH
August 16, 2010
Great piece on statin history and use [" Effectiveness of Statins Is Called Into Question," Aug. 9]. Over the years, I have joked with colleagues that, as with fluoride, statins should be added to our water supply. In your fourth paragraph, you state that statins were initially approved for the prevention of repeat heart attacks and strokes, etc. Having practiced pharmacy for over 35 years, I have seen numerous drug products come and go. It is my memory that the first statins were approved for the reduction of serum cholesterol, and the tie-in to heart attack prevention came along later.
OPINION
November 22, 2013
Re "A second opinion on statins," Editorial, Nov. 19 When it comes to reducing heart attacks, decreasing inflammation in blood vessels trumps reducing cholesterol. Diet and exercise can be just as effective as statins in this area, but many dismiss these efforts. Maybe that's because most of the unimpressive research used a high-carb, low-fat diet. Individuals at risk for heart disease are often insulin resistant. Of course the high-carb approach was ineffective. Second, dietitians and other qualified nutritionists should be reimbursed by Medicare and other insurance plans for doing what they do best.
NEWS
September 12, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Statins are prescribed to more than 80% of people who have ischemic strokes to prevent further cardiovascular problems. But some doctors are reluctant to prescribe the cholesterol-lowering drugs to stroke patients because they fear statins can cause bleeding in the brain called a hemorrhagic stroke. However, a new study reassures that the practice appears sound. Researchers in Canada reviewed a large patient database to compare people who had an ischemic stroke and received statins to those who did not get the medication.
NEWS
November 8, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer and death in the United States. So previous research hinting that statins, which an estimated 20 million Americans take to improve their cholesterol levels, might cut the risk of colorectal cancer has generated high interest. However, a study released Monday yielded disappointing news. Researchers studying a large group of postmenopausal women found that those who took statins did not have a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
SCIENCE
November 7, 2012 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
If you take statins to lower your cholesterol, you may also be lowering your risk of death from cancer, new research suggests. A report published in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine is one of a number of recent papers suggesting that statins not only limit the growth of cancer cells but also make them more vulnerable to certain therapies. "Regular statin use before and after a diagnosis of cancer could theoretically reduce cancer-related mortality," wrote study leader Sune F. Nielsen, a biochemist at the University of Copenhagen who based his findings on an analysis of more than 5.5 million people in Denmark.
HEALTH
August 9, 2010 | By Devon Schuyler, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Statins are widely considered to be one of the safest drugs available. An estimated 24 million Americans take the cholesterol-lowering drugs, and most of them feel no different after their daily dose. "The vast majority of patients tolerate statins extremely well," said Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at UCLA. But like any drug, statins carry a risk of side effects. With so many people taking them, and millions of other potential users out there, doctors and patients need to be alert for symptoms that could be related to the drugs.
NEWS
November 14, 2013 | By Karin Klein
Adding to Americans' confusion about the ever-changing news from the medical world, there's a new recommendation that would, in effect, drastically increase the number of people who take statins in an effort to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke. Statins are potent prescription medications with numerous side effects, including memory loss. The criteria for taking the statins, under the guidelines released by the American Heart Assn. and the American College of Cardiology (a professional organization, not an actual college)
HEALTH
May 3, 2010 | Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon, The People's Pharmacy
I have taken statins to lower my cholesterol. Decreased libido was one of the many side effects I experienced. As things happened gradually, I hadn't fully taken note of how my normal nighttime erections had virtually ceased. I figured my lack of sexual interest was due to getting older. My wife felt I wasn't as interested in her anymore. During the first week after I stopped the statin, I had a sexual awakening like I was a teenager again. I didn't realize how far I had deteriorated until my libido came roaring back.
OPINION
November 19, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
According to two respected medical organizations, up to twice as many of us - nearly a third of all adults - should be taking statins to avoid heart attack and stroke. But statins, the potent cholesterol-lowering medications of which Lipitor is the most famous brand name, also are associated with some difficult side effects, including most notably muscle pain. And once prescribed, they are generally taken for the rest of one's life. Last week, the American Heart Assn. and the American College of Cardiology concluded that the drug should be prescribed for people with at least a 7.5% chance of having a heart attack within the next decade, a lower threshold than before.
SCIENCE
November 18, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Less than a week after the American Heart Assn. and the nation's cardiologists issued guidelines that would greatly expand the number of Americans taking a statin medication, the guidelines have been faulted for overestimating patients' risk of heart attack or stroke. Few authors of the new recommendations had even returned to their clinical practices before learning that an influential Harvard cardiologist and his biostatistician collaborator had taken the guidelines to task, arguing they use unreliable data on Americans' health to calculate which patients would benefit from taking the medication.
SCIENCE
November 18, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Some of the nation's most influential cardiologists are challenging new recommendations that would greatly expand the number of Americans taking a statin medication to reduce their chances of a heart attack or stroke. The guidelines issued last week by the American Heart Assn. and the American College of Cardiology were accompanied by a "risk calculator" that was supposed to identify patients whose odds of suffering either a stroke or a heart attack over the next 10 years were judged to be at least 7.5%.
NEWS
November 14, 2013 | By Karin Klein
Adding to Americans' confusion about the ever-changing news from the medical world, there's a new recommendation that would, in effect, drastically increase the number of people who take statins in an effort to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke. Statins are potent prescription medications with numerous side effects, including memory loss. The criteria for taking the statins, under the guidelines released by the American Heart Assn. and the American College of Cardiology (a professional organization, not an actual college)
SCIENCE
November 12, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Are you among the more than 70 million American adults who should be discussing the possibility of statin therapy with a physician to reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke? For many, the answer may come as a surprise. Getting that answer is easier than you might think too: An online calculator issued Tuesday by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Assn . is available to all. The calculator considers factors such as age, gender, race, total cholesterol levels and triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein levels (HDL cholesterol, which at high levels is protective against heart disease)
SCIENCE
November 12, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Dramatically escalating the fight against heart attacks and strokes, the nation's cardiologists have rewritten the guidebook on how Americans should be treated with statins and unveiled a plan that could double the number of patients taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs to about 70 million. The new approach, presented Tuesday by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Assn., represents a stark shift from the way doctors have prescribed the popular drugs for most of the last decade.
OPINION
November 19, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
According to two respected medical organizations, up to twice as many of us - nearly a third of all adults - should be taking statins to avoid heart attack and stroke. But statins, the potent cholesterol-lowering medications of which Lipitor is the most famous brand name, also are associated with some difficult side effects, including most notably muscle pain. And once prescribed, they are generally taken for the rest of one's life. Last week, the American Heart Assn. and the American College of Cardiology concluded that the drug should be prescribed for people with at least a 7.5% chance of having a heart attack within the next decade, a lower threshold than before.
SCIENCE
November 12, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Dramatically escalating the fight against heart attacks and strokes, the nation's cardiologists have rewritten the guidebook on how Americans should be treated with statins and unveiled a plan that could double the number of patients taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs to about 70 million. The new approach, presented Tuesday by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Assn., represents a stark shift from the way doctors have prescribed the popular drugs for most of the last decade.
SCIENCE
November 12, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The number of Americans taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs is set to double under new guidelines unveiled Tuesday by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Assn. 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 merely to get patient's LDL cholesterol - the “bad” kind that's most closely linked to disease risk - into an ideal range, experts said. The new game plan for statins represents a stark shift from approaches embraced by cardiologists and primary care physicians for most of the past decade.
SCIENCE
November 7, 2012 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
If you take statins to lower your cholesterol, you may also be lowering your risk of death from cancer, new research suggests. A report published in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine is one of a number of recent papers suggesting that statins not only limit the growth of cancer cells but also make them more vulnerable to certain therapies. "Regular statin use before and after a diagnosis of cancer could theoretically reduce cancer-related mortality," wrote study leader Sune F. Nielsen, a biochemist at the University of Copenhagen who based his findings on an analysis of more than 5.5 million people in Denmark.
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