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July 9, 2008 | Alan Zarembo, Times Staff Writer
A recommendation from an influential doctors group that some children as young as 8 be aggressively treated with cholesterol-lowering drugs has triggered debate over whether there is enough scientific evidence to justify such a move. Statins, already among the most widely prescribed drugs, have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease in certain adults. But there are no comparable long-term studies for children. "We don't know the risks and the benefits," said Dr. Beatrice A.
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.
January 21, 2008 | From Times wire reports
Cholesterol drugs, such as Pfizer's Lipitor, don't prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to a study of 929 Catholic clergy. Using the cholesterol pills at any time during the 12-year study didn't have any effect on changes in memory or cognitive function associated with the disease, researchers said. Brain scans and autopsies showed no relationship between the drugs and the disease's progression, according to an online report from the journal Neurology. Previous studies had suggested that cholesterol drugs known as statins may cut levels of sticky plaques in the brain linked to Alzheimer's, a degenerative condition that affects as many as 5 million Americans, according to the National Institute on Aging.
January 14, 2008 | Chris Woolston, Special to The Times
Could you review red yeast rice? I've started taking it in an attempt to lower my cholesterol and stay off statins. Diana Sherman Oaks The products: Lowly fungi have an amazing ability to create compounds that have strong effects on humans (alcohol, hallucinogens and antibiotics, to name a few). As far back as the Tang dynasty in 800, the Chinese harvested a red extract produced by certain types of fungi growing on rice.
December 17, 2007 | Mary Beckman, Special to The Times
Doctors have prescribed statin drugs to millions of people to reduce their cholesterol levels and thus cut the risk of heart attacks. The pharmaceutical company Merck & Co has asked the Food and Drug Administration to let pharmacies sell a lower dose formulation of the company's statin drug Mevacor, also known as lovastatin, over the counter. On Thursday, an FDA advisory panel recommended that the agency reject Merck's third such request. The FDA is expected to make a decision early next year.
July 23, 2007 | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, and and Special to The Times
I have tried many statin drugs for cholesterol, but all gave me muscle pain and cramps. My doctor put me on Zetia and insists it can't cause muscle pain since it is not absorbed into the bloodstream. I still have muscle pain, cramps and tingling in my legs and feet. Can Zetia cause this? Although Zetia works differently from statin cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor or Zocor, it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
April 16, 2007 | From Times wire reports
People who use statin drugs are less likely to die of influenza and chronic bronchitis, according to research that shows yet another unexpected benefit of the cholesterol-lowering medications. The study of more than 76,000 people showed that those who had taken statins for at least 90 days had a much lower risk of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, the technical name for emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
January 8, 2007 | From Times wire reports
Lipitor, Zocor and similar cholesterol lowering drugs failed to prevent colon cancer in a study, dimming hope the pills taken by millions of Americans could thwart one of the nation's leading killers. Laboratory and animal research has suggested in the past that the drugs, called statins, may have anti-cancer properties, blocking compounds the damaged cells need to grow and spread. Studies in people, though, have yielded mixed results.
November 6, 2006 | From Times wire reports
A device that helps severely damaged hearts pump may be able to do what was once thought impossible -- reverse heart failure in people who are weeks from death. The left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, can boost the heart's ability to function, allowing it to recover if used with the right drugs, British researchers have found. The team used the device and a combination of heart drugs in 15 patients who had severe heart failure.
October 30, 2006 | From Times wire reports
Statin drugs, which have become the world's No. 1 selling drugs by cutting cholesterol and the risk of heart attacks and stroke, may also slow the lung damage done by smoking, researchers have reported. Current and former smokers who used statins lost less of their lung function than those who did not, researchers said at a meeting last week of the American College of Chest Physicians.
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