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New Guidelines Expand Statin Eligibility by 13 Million

Increase largely driven by eligibility of adults without cardiovascular disease

New Guidelines Expand Statin Eligibility by 13 Million

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC-AHA) new cholesterol guidelines would increase the number of Americans eligible for statin therapy by nearly 13 million, according to research published online March 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Michael J. Pencina, Ph.D., from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (2005 to 2010) to compare the number of persons and the risk-factor profile for persons who would be eligible for statin therapy under the new ACC-AHA guidelines versus under the Third Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) guidelines.

The researchers found that the new guidelines would increase the number of adults eligible for statin therapy from 43.2 to 56.0 million. Adults without cardiovascular disease would drive this increase. Eligible adults aged 60 to 75 years without cardiovascular disease would increase from 30.4 to 87.4 percent for men and from 21.2 to 53.6 percent for women. The ACC-AHA guidelines would have a higher sensitivity and lower specificity than the ATP-III guidelines in that they would recommend statin therapy for more adults who would be expected to have future cardiovascular events, but include many who would not have future events.

"The new ACC-AHA guidelines for the management of cholesterol would increase the number of adults who would be eligible for statin therapy by 12.8 million, with the increase seen mostly among older adults without cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

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