Statins Are Overprescribed For Heart Disease Prevention, And Harms Could Outweigh Benefits, Researchers Say
While the cholesterol-lowering drugs are generally safe, a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that 15 to 20 percent of older adults should be taking statins – far less than the 30 or 40 percent of older adults suggested by current medical guidelines. Other heart health news examines the benefits of weight lifting.
Statin Rethink: Who Should Take The Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs?
A study published Monday is pushing back against the notion that up to 40 percent of Americans should be taking statin drugs to reduce the risk of heart disease. The study, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, argues that current medical guidelines haven't adequately considered the risks from these widely used drugs. "Some harms are mentioned, but it's entirely unclear how they were considered when coming up with the recommendations," says Milo Puhan, a physician and epidemiologist at the University of Zurich and senior author of the new study. "In our approach we very explicitly considered the harms." (Harris, 12/3)
Why The Risks And Benefits Of Statins Are So Complex
As with any medication, statins can come with side effects. Statins, drugs typically used to lower cholesterol, are relatively safe for most people. When they are taken specifically to prevent cardiovascular disease, a new study suggests, the side effects just might outweigh the benefits, depending on your age, sex and the specific statin you're taking. (Howard, 12/3)
The New York Times:
Even A Little Weight Training May Cut The Risk Of Heart Attack And Stroke
Despite the muscle-building, flab-trimming and, according to recent research, mood-boosting benefits of lifting weights, such resistance exercise has generally been thought not to contribute much to heart health, as endurance workouts like jogging and cycling do. But a study published in October in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise provides evidence for the first time that even a little weight training might reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. People appear to gain this benefit whether or not they also engage in frequent aerobic exercise. (Reynolds, 12/4)