July 24, 2000 |
The blood thinner warfarin recently was found to help ward off cancer in people treated for blood clots. The same week, three studies suggested that popular cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may somehow reduce the risk of broken bones. Huh? This sort of pharmaceutical serendipity is increasingly common: A drug approved for one use is found, by accident or design, to have other intriguing effects. It's distracting to health consumers already teetering on the risk-benefit balance beam.
January 11, 2005
Studies See New Way to Reduce Heart Risk," Jan. 6: Well, it seems we have a new wonder drug -- the statins. According to the Jan. 6 story, "Studies See New Way to Reduce Heart Risk," two recent medical journal articles found that statins are a "perfect marriage" between a drug and a disease. We are on the verge of a major breakthrough in heart disease. Lives will be saved as the use of these already prevalent drugs skyrocket. I sincerely hope the authors of these articles are correct.
November 11, 2005 |
The risk of stroke or death following the most commonly performed stroke-prevention surgery is sharply reduced if patients receive cholesterollowering drugs called statins before the operation, researchers said Thursday. As many as 180,000 Americans undergo carotid endarterectomies each year to remove or stabilize plaque in neck arteries that would otherwise break off and trigger strokes, but the operation can occasionally cause a stroke.
August 10, 2006 |
Offering a new way to treat stroke patients, researchers reported Wednesday that high doses of a cholesterol-lowering statin drug could reduce the risk of another attack and strokerelated death. The statin Lipitor lowered the risk of another stroke 16% and reduced fatal strokes 41%, according to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Stroke kills 160,000 Americans each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer.
May 24, 2004 |
Statins, the prescription drugs used by millions of Americans to reduce cholesterol levels, are showing early promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease that affects about 1.5 million people worldwide, attacks the myelin sheaths around nerves of the brain, eyes and spinal cord. The formation of scar tissue or lesions can lead to such symptoms as blurry vision, numbness, loss of balance and fatigue.
December 27, 2004
Re "The National Institutes of Health: Public Servant or Private Marketer?" Dec. 22: I am appalled that researchers who speak for the NIH and have the ability to influence what doctors are prescribing for their patients are being paid as consultants by drug companies. I have taken a number of statins, including Crestor, and I am aware of the guidelines issued in 2001 by the National Cholesterol Education Program that recommended new target levels for cholesterol. Now I am wondering how seriously I should regard the advice of the NIH. Carol Karas Camarillo There is no credibility at the NIH. If major scientists are promoting a particular drug or treatment and they are accepting consulting fees from that company, how can you believe anything they are saying about that product?
August 9, 2010
Three months after suffering a stroke or a transient ischemic attack, sometimes called a mini-stroke, one in four patients sent home with medications prescribed to drive down the risk of a repeat stroke or heart attack aren’t taking those medications, a new study finds. The medication study , published online Monday in the journal Archives of Neurology, found that in the majority of cases, physicians are discontinuing patients’ medications — for reasons that aren't known.
February 27, 2006 |
Taking prescription beta blocker or statin drugs appears to boost the chances of having only mild chest pain instead of a heart attack as the first symptom of heart disease. Scientists studied 1,400 patients newly diagnosed with heart disease to try to pinpoint why some had a heart attack while others experienced chest pain known as exercise-induced angina, which is far less dangerous.
January 22, 2011 |
When it comes to cholesterol, doctors are sure of two things: High levels of the bad kind increase the risk of heart disease, and lowering those levels reduces the risk. So traditional treatments are aimed at cutting bad cholesterol through diet, exercise and drugs called statins. Now cardiologists are trying to harness the power of good cholesterol to help stave off heart disease. Clinical trials of drugs designed to boost good cholesterol are underway. Meanwhile, scientists are learning more about how it contributes to health: A new study suggests it's not just the total amount of good cholesterol that matters, but how efficiently it's able to gobble up bad cholesterol.
November 8, 2005 |
Lovastatin, a widely used cholesterol-lowering drug, reverses common learning disabilities in mice, offering the first hope for a treatment of the problem in humans, UCLA researchers reported Monday. Three separate human trials in children and adults will begin within weeks at UCLA and other U.S. and European locations, said Dr. Alcino J. Silva, a neurobiologist at UCLA and the lead author of a paper appearing in the journal Current Biology.