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News2013November › 'Statins for everyone' predicted as US lowers risk levels › November 2013

'Statins for everyone' predicted as US lowers risk levels

Everyone over the age of 55 will soon be taking a cholesterol-lowering statin, doctors predict, after American heart specialists last week lowered the requirements for starting a prescription

Everyone over the age of 55 will soon be taking a cholesterol-lowering statin, doctors predict, after American heart specialists last week lowered the requirements for starting a prescription.
Under the new guidelines, anyone with a 7.5 per cent increased risk of a heart attack or a stroke over the following 10 years will be invited to start statin therapy. In the UK, which is expected to adopt America's new treatment model, only those with a 20 per cent increased risk are currently prescribed the drug.
With the new level set so low, specialists are predicting that everyone over the age of 55 will soon be prescribed a statin as a general lifestyle preventative.
Critics fear that the new guidelines, from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, will benefit the pharmaceutical industry far more than it will help patients. Statin side effects include memory loss and dementia-like symptoms, cataracts, diabetes, muscle pains and sexual dysfunction. People at low risk of a heart attack would do better by changing their lifestyle, such as eating a healthier diet and exercising more.


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