FOX 47 - Health News
Now, a major drug maker wants to sell them to healthy people, as a way to prevent heart disease.
Crestor, the second-best selling cholesterol medication, will begin a new marketing strategy, and they're doing it with the government's blessing.
About 40 million people in this country take cholesterol medications, but new guidelines, approved by the FDA, would open the pharmacy to 6.5 million more people -- people with no cholesterol problems and no sign of heart problems.
Some doctors are putting up some red flags.
Studies show statins can increase a patient's risk for diabetes, liver disease, and muscle aches.
Dr. David Shearer is a family physician with Dean Health. He says taking a pill is not always the solution, and people need to focus on preventative steps.
"Stopping smoking, losing weight, eating a balanced diet, these lifestyle modifications are risk-free," Dr. Shearer said.
Still, statin use is skyrocketing. Doctors wrote more than 200 million prescriptions for cholesterol drugs last year. Usage doubled over the last decade, but it remains to be seen whether these new marketing strategies will mean more people will take the drugs.
"My prediction is it will not be widely accepted by the medical community," said Dr. Matthew Wolff, UW Hospital cardiologist.
Dr. Wolff says prescribing statins to people with little to no risk factors won't have a significant health impact, and will likely end up costing a lot of money.
"I think that's where the controversy arises -- it applies to the risk, but maybe more importantly to the expense of the drug. When you talk about treating potentially millions of people, you're only going to see a modest reduction in heart attacks, strokes, and deaths in the United States," Dr. Wolff said.
Both Shearer and Wolff say best advice for people is to have a one-on-one conversation with their doctor.
The new Crestor label says it may be prescribed for men over 50, and women over 60, who have one risk factor like smoking or hypertension.
Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!
Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)
|Blind horse gets new hope and restored vision in one eye|
A blind draft horse will live to see retirement, thanks to surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania’s new Bolton center in Kennett square
|Depression linked to faster cognitive decline in old age|
Among older adults with dementia, those who are also depressed tend to have more rapid cognitive decline, according to a new study
|Weather causes 2,000 deaths each year in US|
About 2,000 Americans die each year due to extreme weather conditions, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
|Johnson & Johnson pulls hysterectomy device from hospitals|
Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it was withdrawing a surgical tool that can spread cancer in women, effectively removing the device's largest manufacturer from the market amid a contentious debate over its use
|Blood test predicts suicide risk, study suggests|
A new gene linked to suicide risk has been discovered, and researchers say the finding could lead to a blood test that predicts a person's risk of attempting suicide
Tonight on FOX 47
5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Big Bang Theory
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm Big Bang Theory
7:00pm Sleepy Hollow
8:00pm Gang Related
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Two and a Half Men
10:35pm Everybody Loves Raymond
11:05pm The Arsenio Hall Show