Apr 14, 2009 | 2
Cholesterol-busting statins may lower the odds of suffering from a heart attack or stroke, but they don't appear to ward off dementia as researchers had hoped, a new review of clinical trials suggests.
"There is really no evidence that statins do prevent dementia, especially in elderly people (age 70 and older)," says Bernadette McGuinness, a geriatrician at Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland, and co-author of the study published today in The Cochrane Library.
Feb 10, 2009 | 1
Cholesterol-lowering statins are the best-selling class of drugs in the country. But as their pool of takers has expanded, critics have complained that the meds, while effective in reducing heart attacks and strokes, haven’t been proved to save lives.
But new research, published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, indicates that statins do, in fact, reduce the risk of dying for both people with heart disease and for those who are taking the drugs because their cholesterol is elevated. (Not everyone who suffers a heart attack has high cholesterol, so prescribing statins just because a person's levels are high is controversial.)
Nov 10, 2008 | 18
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are already blockbuster medicines taken by 30 million people around the world. Now it turns out you still might need them if you have normal cholesterol. There’s a new risk factor in town: A protein associated with inflammation.
Taking the statin Crestor, also known as rosuvastatin, slashed the risk of heart attack by more than half in nearly 18,000 people with increased levels of the protein, called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), according to research presented yesterday at the annual American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans. The drug reduced the chance of stroke and the need for a stent – a mesh tube propping open the heart’s blood vessels — by nearly 50 percent. It also lowered the risk of death by 20 percent. The research, funded by Crestor maker AstraZeneca, is in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.
Oct 29, 2008 | 4
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs reduce levels of a blood marker for prostate cancer, but it's not clear they actually lower the risk of developing the disease.
Scientists from Duke University report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein, dropped by an average of 4.1 percent over 16 years in 1,214 men taking statins. But they didn’t explore whether the meds actually reduced the incidence of prostate cancer.
Previous research has produced conflicting results: one 2005 study by the Veterans Administration suggested that statins lowered risk of the disease, but three analyses of their use for heart disease between 2005 and 2007 didn't show any link.
Sep 15, 2008 | 1
Just a couple of years ago, statin discoverer Akira Endo was tackling his elevated cholesterol by exercising more. But the Japanese scientist who won this year's prestigious Lasker Award has drunk the proverbial Kool-Aid.
"Five years ago, my cholesterol levels were at 230-240 mg/dL. My doctor has been asking me to take a statin," Endo tells us in an e-mail. "Now, I am taking a statin drug twice or three times a week. It is very effective."
People with cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dL are considered to be at low risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association; 200-to-239 mg/dL is considered borderline-to-high risk, and 240 or above is deemed high risk. Doctors recommend statins for people without known coronary disease whose LDL, or "bad" cholesterol is 190 mg/dL or higher, the heart association says. Those at higher risk can start the drugs even if their LDL levels are lower.
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