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December 22, 2008 | By Erin Cline Davis, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Should statin drugs be put in the water, or what? More than 13 million Americans are taking these medications to lower their cholesterol and hopefully stave off heart disease -- a job the drugs appear to excel at. Statins can lower "bad" LDL cholesterol by 20% to 60%. Over time, this can lower the risk of having a heart attack by about the same amount. For many years, it was believed that statins worked solely by reducing blood cholesterol, which can build up in sticky plaques in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, potentially blocking blood flow and causing heart attacks.
May 26, 2005 | From Reuters
People taking statin drugs to stem the progression of heart disease may be getting an extra benefit: protection from colorectal cancer, according to new research. The findings in today's New England Journal of Medicine showed that taking cholesterol-lowering medicine cut the risk of colon cancer by 47%. But in an editorial in the Journal, Drs. Ernest T. Hawk and Jaye L.
August 22, 1999 | From Associated Press
Should you take a statin? It depends on whether you already have heart disease, how high your cholesterol is and whether you have other medical problems that put you at risk. Many people already know their total cholesterol. But to make a decision about statins, it's also necessary to measure the levels of the two major types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. (LDL is the artery-clogging variety that causes heart trouble; HDL helps prevent it.
July 14, 2008 | Susan Brink, Times Staff Writer
For 20 years, statins have been shown to be largely safe and effective, with no cumulative side effects, for adults. "What we don't know is, over decades, how safe they are for children," says Dr. Alan Lewis of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. "We're all cautious about extrapolating data from adults to children, but that's all we have available." For some children, statins are the only option.
April 26, 2004 | Jane E. Allen
Most adults with Type 2 diabetes should be taking a statin drug, experts now say, even if their cholesterol is normal. New treatment guidelines from the American College of Physicians say doctors should be prescribing statins -- Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, Pravachol, Mevacor or Lescol -- to any Type 2 diabetic with diagnosed coronary artery disease.
October 28, 2002 | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon Special to The Times, Special to The Times
Are there any drugs for cholesterol that aren't statins? My doctor says, "Not really." But I know statins haven't been around all that long, so there must have been something to control high cholesterol. I can't tolerate statins and would welcome an alternative. You're right that doctors used to prescribe other medicines for high cholesterol.
January 21, 2008
Re: ["Statin-Free Supplement? Not Quite," Jan.14] Two years ago, I was recovering from two life-threatening diseases. My endocrinologist was concerned about my cholesterol (275) but wanted me to try a natural alternative rather than another medication that might interfere with my other ones. He asked me to try red yeast rice. Three months later, my score was down to about 250. Six months later, it was down to 163. I've maintained it, with red yeast rice, under 200 since. I am grateful that a doctor who saved my life with the best that Western medicine has to offer suggested an Eastern medicine alternative that works so effectively.
July 14, 2008 | Susan Brink, Times Staff Writer
At first blush, the new guidelines on cholesterol control in children were shocking. Statins, one of the most frequently prescribed drugs for adults worldwide, could be prescribed for some children as young as 8, according to recommendations released last week by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But the vast majority of children will never in their pre-pubescence or teens pop a pill to lower cholesterol. Nor will their parents want them to. "I hear it every time I see parents," says Dr.
May 31, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
The already confusing world of cholesterol control just got a little murkier. If you’re taking a combination of niacin (brand name Niaspan) along with a statin to protect your heart, news from the National Institutes of Health will make you want to seriously rethink your treatment. It may also leave you wondering: How important is cholesterol anyway? And how hard should you try to get the “right” numbers? For the Record, 1:06 p.m., June 2: A previous version of this post said the NIH stopped the trial after 32 months because it appeared the drug might be harming more patients than it helped.
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