Should You Be Taking a Statin for Your Heart?

The Working Group Preventive Services of the United States recommends that doctors prescribe statins for people 40 years 75 to 10 percent or greater 10-year risk of a heart attack or stroke. Because most of these people have not had a heart attack or have been diagnosed with heart disease, the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs statin type such as atorvastatin ( Lipitor ), rosuvastatin ( Crestor ) or simvastatin ( Zocor ) is considered “primary prevention”.

to see if you would be taking a statin to the heart following this recommendation, you can calculate your own risk for 10 years here .

Taking a statin for the health of your heart?

There is broad consensus that statins are useful in the “secondary prevention”, keeping people with heart disease healthier. However, there has been considerable controversy about the effectiveness of statins for primary prevention.

The NNT:

The Preventive Services Task Force of the United States found that 217 people would have to take statins to prevent one death from cardiovascular causes. This is considered the number needed to treat, or NNT . This means that a lot of people who have to pay for a statin drug and take it every day, whether or not it causes no side effects, so that a person to avoid a heart attack or stroke. Over 200 is relatively high.

This Working Group Preventive Services has made several controversial recommendations (regarding PSA screening appropriate time for mammograms and use vitamin D and calcium supplements prevent fractures), but not previously made a recommendation on the use of statins. The new recommendation is likely to increase the number of people taking statins current 36 million to over 40 million.

The Working Group posture is compatible with the views set out by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

What are the side effects of taking a statin?

The new review has found that people taking statins experience no significant increased risk of muscle problems or diabetes. This decision, although the results of randomized controlled trials, could easily be as controversial as the recommendation that many more Americans have to take one of these drugs. We have written frequently about side effects of statins , and some people find that these drugs can be difficult to tolerate .

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