New guidelines deem 13 million more Americans eligible for statins

New guidelines deem 13 million more Americans eligible for statins

New guidelines for using statins to treat high cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease are projected to result in 12.8 million more U.S. adults taking the drugs, according to a new research. The new guidelines expand the criteria for statin use to include people whose 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke, is elevated based on a risk-assessment score.

via Living Well News — ScienceDaily:

New guidelines for using statins to treat high cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease are projected to result in 12.8 million more U.S. adults taking the drugs, according to a research team led by Duke Medicine scientists.The findings for the first time quantify the impact of the American Heart Association’s new guidelines, which were issued in November and generated both controversy and speculation about who should be given a prescription for statins.In an analysis of health data published online March 19, 2014, in the New England Journal of Medicine, a team led by researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute found that most of the additional statin users under the new guidelines would be people older than age 60.”We sought to do a principled, scientific study to try to answer how the new guidelines might affect statin use, particularly as they focused eligibility on patients with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Michael J. Pencina, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics at DCRI. “By our estimate, there might be an uptake in usage as a result of the guidelines, from 43.2 million people to 56 million, which is nearly half of the U.S. population between the ages of 40 and 75.”Pencina and colleagues from McGill University and Boston University used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) for their analysis, focusing on 3,773 participants between the ages of 40-75 who had provided detailed medical information, including fasting cholesterol levels from blood tests.The new guidelines expand the criteria for statin use to include people whose 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke, is elevated based on a risk-assessment score.The DCRI-led research team determined that the new guidelines could result in 49 percent of U.S. adults ages 40-75 being recommended for statin therapy, an increase from 38 percent.The increase is much more pronounced among adults free of cardiovascular disease who are over age 60, with 77 percent recommended for statin use under the new guidelines vs. 48 percent under the previous standards. This contrasts with a modest increase from 27 percent to 30 percent among U.S. adults between the ages of 40 and 60.Those most affected by the new recommendations are older men who are not on statins and do not have cardiovascular disease. Under the earlier guidelines, about 30.4 percent of this group of men between the ages of 60-75 were recommended for statin use. …

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Living Well News — ScienceDaily

New guidelines deem 13 million more Americans eligible for statins

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