Statins News

Statins are a class of medication used to lower blood cholesterol levels. When blood cholesterol levels are high, particularly levels of "bad" cholesterol, or LDL, you are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Making diet and lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and exercising more can help lower blood cholesterol levels. But some people still need drugs like statins and other cholesterol-lowering medications to bring their levels under control.

More About Statins

Cholesterol-lowering drugs work in different ways. For example, some actually block the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream, while others promote its disposal in the body’s waste. Statins are different in that they actually work in the liver to prevent the formation of cholesterol in the first place. This can have a significant effect on lowering LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides, which are also harmful blood particles. Statins might also have a modest effect on raising levels of the body’s "good" cholesterol, or HDL.

Statins are sold under many different names, including simvastatin (Zocor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), pravastatin (Pravachol), lovastatin (Mevacor), fluvastatin (Lescol) and atorvastatin (Lipitor). Statin drugs are also sometimes combined with other medications to address other heart issues.

Benefits and Risks of Statins

Statins are popular because they are generally safe and cause relatively few side effects. What’s more, the side effects that do occur often go away in a short period of time. There is some risk of muscle or liver problems, but these are rare. However, people with liver problems or who are pregnant are advised not to take statins.

SOURCE: American Heart Association

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Statins and Diabetes Risk

Use of statins may increase diabetes risk, study finds

Do Statins Raise Odds for Type 2 Diabetes?

Maybe, but heart benefits likely outweigh any potential risk from the drugs, experts say

Many Patients Denied Costly New Cholesterol Drugs

Insurers and high copays limit use of PCSK9 inhibitors, study says

Statins May Help People With COPD Live Longer

Deaths from lung-related causes were reduced by as much as 45 percent, study suggests

Statins Help Healthy People Lower Their 'Bad' Cholesterol

Study found taking them lowered risk of heart disease, death in those with high LDL levels

Calcium in Arteries May Best Predict Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure might be less of a concern, study contends

New Cholesterol Drugs Vastly Overpriced, Study Contends

But drug maker, heart experts question methodology of analysis

Powerful New Cholesterol Med Won't Harm Memory, Easing Concerns

Study findings on Repatha are 'reassuring,' but expert wants longer follow-up

Less Than Half of U.S. Stroke Patients Get Rx for Statins

Country-wide comparison finds geography, age and gender affect who gets cholesterol-lowering meds

Stopping Statins After Stroke May Raise Risk of Another

Large study serves as warning for stroke survivors who are prescribed cholesterol-lowering meds

Is the 'Anti-Statin' Trend Threatening Lives?

Internet-fueled movement has heart experts concerned about potential consequences

Study Hints at Link Between Some Statins, Parkinson's Risk

But the connection was only seen with certain types of the cholesterol-lowering drugs

Healthy Dietary Fats Help Beat High Cholesterol

Eating them can reduce your risk of heart disease as effectively as statins, heart experts say

New Cholesterol Fighting Meds Target Key Gene

Two trials show promise for non-statin approach to heart health

Study Casts Doubt on Need for Statins in the 'Healthy Old'

But specialists cite research flaws, limitations

Many Heart Attack Patients Fail to Stick With Statins

Greater education is needed on the lifesaving benefits of 'high-intensity' treatment, researchers say

Conflicting Statin Guidelines Leave Millions in 'Gray Zone'

Doctors, patients often confused by differing advisories on the cholesterol-lowering drugs

Many Americans Don't Know How to Handle High Cholesterol

Survey found they know it raises heart risks, but are confused, discouraged about how to lower it

Keys to Heart Disease Care: Communication and Trust

These factors linked to patients' greater use of cholesterol and blood pressure-lowering drugs

Guidelines May Miss Need for Statins in Many U.S. Blacks

Individualized scans of the arteries may be a better means of spotting patients at risk, researchers say

New Cholesterol Drugs May Beat Statins, But Price Tag Is High

Repatha, inclisiran lowered cholesterol levels even further, but first costs about $14,000 a year to take

Taking Statins May Boost Heart Surgery Outcomes

Using cholesterol-lowering medications up to and on operation day linked to better survival rates in study

'Red Yeast Rice' Statin Alternative Not Harmless Either, Study Says

The supplements linked to muscle pain, other adverse effects similar to statins

Whether Statins Cut Alzheimer's Risk May Depend on Gender, Race

Type of statin used also made a difference in study, but black men did not see any benefits

Statins May Boost Survival Odds After Cardiac Arrest

Those already taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs were more likely to be alive one year later, study says

High-Dose Statins Boost Survival: Study

Increased doses reduced death risk in those with existing heart disease

Take Meds as Directed to Boost Survival After Heart Procedures

Study finds close adherence to instructions may be especially important after angioplasty

Statins Often Interact With Other Heart Drugs

Doctors, patients should be aware of risky combinations, heart group says

Are There Alternatives to Statins?

Dietary changes, other meds and even surgery also can help lower cholesterol levels, study finds

Many With Diabetes Missing Out on Statins

2 in 5 middle-aged patients don't get the cholesterol-cutting drugs, despite recommendations to do so, study finds

Intensive Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Can Extend Survival: Study

Researchers also found lower risk of complications such as heart and kidney disease, vision problems

Could Statins Help Fight Cancer?

Study found an association -- but no proof -- of prolonged survival

Another Potential Use for Statins?

In stroke patients, the cholesterol-lowering drugs might reduce infection risk, study says

Just a Little of Statins' Effect Enough to Help Heart: Study

Driving cholesterol down to very low levels produced no extra benefit

Statins Might Protect People With Narrowed Leg Arteries

Study found the cholesterol-lowing drugs associated with reduced risk of amputation, death