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)
|Sleep apnea tied to memory problems|
The ability to remember locations and directions may suffer when deep sleep is disrupted by breathing difficulties, a new study suggests.
|Halloween buy-back program aims to cut down on cavities, help troops overseas|
As pint-sized ghosts, goblins and the latest Pixar characters dash through neighborhoods on Halloween night collecting pounds of candy, dentists are gearing up to cash in – but not in the way you might expect.
|Dallas nurse to be reunited with dog quarantined for Ebola checks|
Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who recovered from an Ebola infection, will be reunited with 1-year-old King Charles Spaniel on Saturday after testing indicated the pet was free of Ebola, a spokeswoman for the city of Dallas said on Thursday.
|WHO says two suspected Ebola cases in Mali, 57 contacts sought|
Two people are suspected of having Ebola after coming into contact with a two-year-old girl who died of the disease in Mali last week, according to data from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
|Tiny human stomachs grown in lab|
They may be small, but new lab-grown miniature human stomachs could one day help researchers better understand how the stomach develops, as well as the diseases that can strike it.
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
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Mike & Molly
10:35pm Mike & Molly
11:05pm Two and a Helf Men
11:35pm The Simpsons