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Patients Given Statin Still Try to Stick with Healthy Diet

Patients do not use treatment as an excuse to increase dietary fat intake

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Most people who are prescribed a statin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease do not use it as an excuse to up their intake of fatty food, according to a report in the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In fact, many patients starting a statin say they wanted more time to try to lower their cholesterol with dietary changes before starting medication.

Devin M. Mann, M.D., from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues interviewed 71 patients with a new statin prescription about their diet in the past 24 hours and interviewed them again after three and six months.

About 77 percent of patients said they were eating a healthy diet at six months, compared to 52 percent at the start of the study. However, there were no significant changes in the intake of saturated fat at six months. About 79 percent of patients said they had wanted more time to reduce their cholesterol by changing their diet, and only half of those patients had actually attempted to do so before being given a prescription.

"Another striking finding of our study is that some patients felt rushed into initiating statins without being given adequate opportunity to improve their diet," Mann and colleagues conclude. "This apparent discordance between physician and patient preferences may contribute to poor statin adherence and may reflect an unintended consequence of the increasing medicalization of hyperlipidemia."

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