New recommendations released for heart disease preventing statin drugs

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statin drugsShould you start taking a statin too?

New research shows more people than previously thought may benefit from taking statins — even those without heart disease.

This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated its recommendations for these cholesterol-lowering medications. The new guidelines suggest people ages 40-75 should consider taking statins to prevent heart disease and stroke if they have at least one risk factor, such as:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking habit
  • Have a 10 percent or greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next decade

Ascension Seton Heart Institute cardiologist Paul Roach, MD, said it is very important to talk to your doctor first before deciding whether statins are for you. A collaborative conversation with your doctor will help to assess risk and benefits. Seton is part of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Common brand names of statins include Crestor (rosuvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin).