Breaking News
April 26, 2019 - The Inflamed Brain | NIH News in Health
April 26, 2019 - Stress-free training may enhance surgical skill
April 26, 2019 - Newsom: California Leads On Prescription Drugs
April 26, 2019 - Exploring novel strategies to heal damage after a heart attack
April 26, 2019 - Small army of tiny robots can remove dental plaque
April 26, 2019 - Cellular communication in emotion-processing brain region motivates us to keep eating tasty food
April 26, 2019 - Greater spousal life satisfaction associated with lower mortality risk
April 26, 2019 - Genetic mutations in brain development lead to discovery of rare genetic diseases
April 26, 2019 - Speech-Based Algorithm Helps ID Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
April 26, 2019 - First birth via robot-assisted uterus transplant
April 26, 2019 - CircRNAs bind to dsRNA-activated protein kinase which is linked to innate immunity
April 26, 2019 - MR Solutions wins third Queen’s Award
April 26, 2019 - Study details how optimism can bias prognosis in serious illness
April 26, 2019 - Vascular surgery after firearm injury linked with higher morbidity and mortality
April 26, 2019 - New findings about aggressive blood cancer may help develop drugs with less harmful side effects
April 26, 2019 - People with intense feelings of responsibility susceptible to developing OCD, anxiety
April 26, 2019 - Despite expansion of insurance coverage for depression, treatment rates are lower than expected
April 26, 2019 - Huge Malaria vaccine trial in Malawi
April 26, 2019 - Can Obesity Shrink Your Brain?
April 26, 2019 - This oral appliance could help you (and your partner) sleep better
April 26, 2019 - Myelination deficits cause abnormal hypersocial behavior associated with Williams syndrome
April 26, 2019 - New sepsis detector uses photonics to make accurate diagnosis in less than thirty minutes
April 26, 2019 - New study describes process to diagnose rare genetic diseases in record time
April 26, 2019 - Scientists and patients gather in Vancouver to discuss about Stevens-Johnson syndrome
April 26, 2019 - Advance in breakthrough cancer treatment eliminates serious side effects
April 26, 2019 - Discovery about cold sensing could pave way for new pain relief drugs
April 26, 2019 - Children often turn to sugary drinks instead of water
April 26, 2019 - Genome analysis shows the combined effect of many genes on cognitive traits
April 26, 2019 - Patients Caught In Middle Of Fight Between Health Care Behemoths
April 26, 2019 - Drug overdoses among adolescents and young adults on the rise
April 26, 2019 - Implementing a Paperless QC Micro Laboratory”
April 25, 2019 - Obesity linked to a reduction in gray matter
April 25, 2019 - Smart assistants could help combat opioid crisis
April 25, 2019 - Diagnostic stewardship strategy reduces inappropriate testing
April 25, 2019 - Three-antibiotic cocktail eradicates ‘persister’ Lyme bacteria in mouse model
April 25, 2019 - Study investigates how early blindness shapes sound processing
April 25, 2019 - Outcomes Worse for Cancer Patients Seen at Noncancer EDs
April 25, 2019 - Link found between temperament of high-risk infants and obesity
April 25, 2019 - Al Letson explores ties between journalists and doctors at Medicine and the Muse symposium
April 25, 2019 - New mobile phone game can detect people at risk of Alzheimer’s
April 25, 2019 - Scientists discover trigger region for absence epileptic seizures
April 25, 2019 - Stretchy wearable patch can do a health check while you work out
April 25, 2019 - Exercise activates brain circuits associated with memory in older adults
April 25, 2019 - Veggies, Fruits and Grains Keep Your Heart Pumping
April 25, 2019 - Healthy meal kits can boost children’s long-term health
April 25, 2019 - Designing an inexpensive surgical headlight: A Q&A with a Stanford surgeon
April 25, 2019 - States Weigh Banning A Widely Used Pesticide Even Though EPA Won’t
April 25, 2019 - Integrator complex proteins are crucial for healthy brain development in fruit flies, study finds
April 25, 2019 - Device converts brain signals into speech, offering hope for patients
April 25, 2019 - Measles vaccination rates are a ‘public health time bomb’
April 25, 2019 - Maths made easier for scientists students who shun the subject wins award
April 25, 2019 - Researchers decode how cancer drug works in brains of Parkinson’s disease patients
April 25, 2019 - Smarter Brain Cancer Trial Comes to Columbia
April 25, 2019 - Researchers Seek Sage Advice Of Elders On Aging Issues
April 25, 2019 - New chemical synthesis strategy leads to identification of novel, simpler derivatives
April 25, 2019 - Vanderbilt investigators discover link between vascular biology and eye disease
April 25, 2019 - Feces transplantation is effective and provides economic benefits
April 25, 2019 - Eisenhower Health first in Southern California to offer new lung valve treatment for COPD/emphysema
April 25, 2019 - Johns Hopkins researchers uncover role of neurotransmitter in the spread of aggressive cancers
April 25, 2019 - Porvair Sciences offers highly effective P3 microplate for biological sample clean-up
April 25, 2019 - Air pollution increases risk for respiratory hospitalization among childhood cancer survivors
April 25, 2019 - We are sitting more! How bad is that?
April 25, 2019 - Majority of stroke survivors not screened for osteoporosis, despite increased risk
April 25, 2019 - ADHD Screening: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
April 25, 2019 - Cellular alterations increase vulnerability of obese and diabetic individuals to infection
April 25, 2019 - Association Insurance Pushes On Despite Court Ruling
April 25, 2019 - Traditional and e-cigarette users may be more receptive to smoking cessation interventions
April 25, 2019 - Delving into tumor’s cellular lineage may offer clues for customized therapies
April 25, 2019 - Two studies uncover brain mechanisms underlying decision making process
April 25, 2019 - Cardiometabolic Risk Better ID’d in Children Reclassified to Higher BP
April 25, 2019 - How the obesity epidemic is taking a toll on our bones and joints
April 25, 2019 - E-cigarettes contaminated with dangerous microbial toxins
April 25, 2019 - Researchers document specific characteristics of storefront tobacco advertisements
April 25, 2019 - Oncotype DX-guided treatment could reduce cost for breast cancer care, study suggests
April 25, 2019 - Predicting whether a patient will benefit from chemotherapy
April 25, 2019 - New review highlights how lifestyle affects our genes
April 25, 2019 - Study provides evidence that blood tests can detect Alzheimer’s risk
April 25, 2019 - Computer program mimics natural speech using brain signals from epilepsy patients
April 25, 2019 - Physicians turning to antibiotic alternatives for long-term acne treatment
April 25, 2019 - Preschool Is Prime Time to Teach Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Statins are recommended far too often, study shows

Statins are recommended far too often, study shows

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, as a preventive measure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study by the University of Zurich now shows that this measure is recommended too often, as current guidelines fail to take into account the risks of side effects.

Even healthy people who don’t suffer from a cardiovascular disease are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins, if they meet certain risk criteria. However, for years the use of statins for primary prevention has been hotly debated among experts. “Ultimately, this measure helps to prevent heart attacks or strokes in only a few cases. But all people who take statins are at risk of experiencing the side effects,” says Milo Puhan, professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Zurich.

No systematic studies for guidelines

When deciding whether to prescribe statins to a patient, doctors use a number of risk factors such as cholesterol level, BMI and smoking to determine the likelihood of a person suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. If this figure reaches or exceeds 10%, many medical guidelines recommend the use of statins; however, some guidelines put this number at 7.5%, whereas a Swiss association of general practitioners only suggests doing so from 20%.

If these guidelines, most of which are drawn up by cardiology organizations, are to be believed, more than one third of all people between the age of 40 and 75 would have to take statins as a preventive measure – in other words, hundreds of millions of people around the world. According to Puhan, however, these guidelines were drawn up without properly taking into account the unwanted side effects, such as muscle pain, cataracts, liver defects or diabetes. “The thresholds set by experts aren’t based on any systematic studies.”

Weighing up benefits and harmful effects

Striking a good balance between the benefits and the harmful side effects is therefore one of the great challenges of developing improved guidelines for preventive statin use. This is why Prof. Milo Puhan and his team at the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute of UZH have now for the first time carried out a comprehensive statistical modeling study.
The researchers systematically compiled all data from specialist literature that documents the benefits and side effects of the preventive use of statins. To include the view of patients in their model, they also performed a survey among healthy people about the significance of heart attacks, strokes and certain side effects.

Using this information, the scientists determined new thresholds for men and women across different age groups between 40 and 75. They also compared the benefits and unwanted side effects of four widely used statin preparations.

Recommendation given to too many people

“Our study shows that today statins are recommended far too often,” says Puhan about the study’s findings. According to his estimates, the newly set thresholds could cut the number of people who are given a recommendation to take statins by half.
The benefits of cholesterol-lowering drugs have been greatly exaggerated particularly when it comes to senior citizens: For the 70 to 75 age group, the study’s model put the threshold at approx. 21% – in other words, the benefits of statins outweigh the harm from potential side effects of statins only if there’s a 21% risk or higher that a person will suffer a heart attack or a stroke in the next 10 years. For men and women aged 40 to 45, the threshold is slightly lower, at 14% and 17% respectively. The researchers also noted that two of the four examined statin preparations, atorvastatin and rosuvastatin, had a significantly better balance of benefits and harms than the other two (simvastatin und pravastatin).

Considering the study’s findings, Puhan recommends that all people concerned should discuss their individual risk for cardiovascular disease as well as possible side effects with their doctors before deciding whether to take statins as a preventive measure.

Source:

https://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2018/Statin.html

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles