New Heart Guidelines Encourage Statin Use

Why American’s will NEVER get well as a nation as long as drugs are the choice of treatment and prevention instead of what can be found at the end of your fork:

The nation’s first new guidelines in a decade for preventing heart attacks and strokes call for twice as many Americans – one-third of all adults – to consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

The guidelines, issued by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, are a big change. They use a new formula for estimating someone’s risk that includes many factors besides cholesterol, the main focus now. They take aim at strokes, not just heart attacks. And they set a lower threshold for using medicines to reduce risk.

They say statins do the most good for:

  • People who already have heart disease.
  • Those with LDL of 190 or higher, usually because of genetic risk.
  • People ages 40 to 75 with Type 2 diabetes.People ages 40 to 75 who have an estimated 10-year risk of heart disease of 7.5 percent or higher, based on the new formula. (This means that for every 100 people with a similar risk profile, seven or eight would have a heart attack or stroke within 10 years.)

The guidelines also say:

  • Adults 40 to 79 should get an estimate every four to six years of their chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke over the next decade using the new formula. It includes age, sex, race, cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking. If risk remains unclear, doctors can consider family history or three other tests. The best one is a coronary artery calcium test, an X-ray to measure calcium in heart arteries.
  • For those 20 to 59, an estimate of their lifetime risk of a heart attack or stroke can be considered using traditional factors like cholesterol and blood pressure to persuade them to change their lifestyle.
  • To fight obesity, doctors should develop individualized weight loss plans including a moderately reduced calorie diet, exercise and behavior strategies. The best ones offer two or three in-person meetings a month for at least six months. Web or phone-based programs are a less-ideal option.
  • Everyone should get at least 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three or four times a week.
  • People should eat a “dietary pattern” focused on vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Include beans and healthy oils and nuts. Limit sweets, sweet drinks, red meat, saturated fat and salt.


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