WMSN FOX 47
 

FOX 47 - Health News

MADISON (WMSN) -- Cholesterol drugs, also known as statins, are credited with saving thousands of lives every year.



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.

Doctors debate cholesterol meds for healthy people

Video List

Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!

Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)

Compound from Chinese medicinal herb shows promise for Ebola
A drug derived from a Chinese medicinal herb is showing promise for combating Ebola infection, effectively imprisoning the virus inside cells so it cannot do its usual damage, scientists said on Thursday.

Multiple cups of coffee may reduce MS risk, study finds
Consuming multiple cups of coffee a day may reduce an individual’s risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), found researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
 

When the fight isn't fair: Why losing to cancer isn’t a real failure
Last week I read an editorial written by a woman with Stage 4 breast cancer, the only type of breast cancer that kills.

New meningitis vaccines should only be used for outbreaks, panel recommends
A federal panel is recommending that two new meningitis vaccines only be used during outbreaks and not be given routinely to teens and college students.

Suit filed against scope maker in superbug infection
A patient has sued the maker of a medical scope linked to the outbreak of a superbug at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Advertise with us!

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 American Idol
8:00pm Backstrom
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Mike & Molly
10:35pm Mike & Molly
11:05pm Two and a Half Men
11:35pm The Simpsons
12:05am Community


Complete FOX 47 Schedule

To FOX.com

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix