Local doctor weighs in on Statin treatment - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Local doctor weighs in on Statin treatment

Posted: Updated:

High cholesterol can raise the risk of a heart attack. Statin therapy can lower that risk. But now comes word that same drug may also help prevent stroke. New guidelines just released may have physicians prescribing one of the  statin medications to millions more Americans.

Doctors now understand that while statins lower cholesterol levels what these drugs really target is overall cardiovascular risk, including the risk of stroke. That understanding could benefit another 33 million Americans.

"Statins are very potent drugs. And the more that we've tested them, the more populations have been added to people who can benefit," said doctor Corah Lewis who works in the Department of Preventive Medicine at UAB.    

In 2002, it was recommended that Americans with a risk of 20 percent or higher for heart or stroke should take statins. Now it's recommended that anyone with a risk factor of just 7.5 percent or higher. That leads many doctors to believe some 33 million Americans are being under treated.

"The new risk equation takes data from several different studies and puts it together as a way to be more precise about calculating the risks," said Lewis.

Not only do the new statin guidelines recommend therapy for people forty to seventy-five years old with a 7.5 percent risk or higher, the recommendations also include these groups:

People with type one or type two diabetes who are 40 to 75 years old. And people 21 and older who have a very high level of bad cholesterol.

But doctor Lewis warns, "It comes down to how many people do you want to treat to prevent one case of disease. So at a certain point it becomes a judgement. You can't treat everybody."

The risks associated with this drug include muscle inflammation and liver problems.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:19:22 GMT
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
  • Athens man pleads not guilty in Craigslist kitten killings

    Athens man pleads not guilty in Craigslist kitten killings

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:53 GMT
    Ronald Fraser Golden, 49, of Athens pleaded not guilty to 22 cruelty charges during a brief hearing in Limestone County, where authorities say he killed the animals in a part of his home he called "the cat room."

    More >>
    Ronald Fraser Golden, 49, of Athens pleaded not guilty to 22 cruelty charges during a brief hearing in Limestone County, where authorities say he killed the animals in a part of his home he called "the cat room."

    More >>
  • Girl who was struck by plane that crashed on Florida beach dies

    Girl who was struck by plane that crashed on Florida beach dies

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:34:21 GMT
    A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a beach while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials in Florida said Tuesday.More >>
    A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a beach while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials in Florida said Tuesday.
    More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:19:22 GMT
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
  • Sam factor prepares Rams for sensitivity session

    Sam factor prepares Rams for sensitivity session

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:26:35 GMT
    To guard against another Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp.More >>
    To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp.More >>
  • Uber blasts Birmingham Councilwoman over transportation code

    Uber blasts Birmingham Councilwoman over transportation code

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:14:19 GMT
    A weeks-long, heated debate over the City of Birmingham's transportation code ends with more friction.More >>
    A weeks-long, heated debate over the City of Birmingham's transportation code ends with more friction.More >>
  • UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:12:02 GMT
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
  • Stephen A. Smith suspended by ESPN for comments on Ray Rice domestic abuse discussion

    Stephen A. Smith suspended by ESPN for comments on Ray Rice domestic abuse discussion

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:50:13 GMT
    ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.More >>
    ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.
    More >>
  • Alabamians on both sides of the issue discuss Middle East fighting

    Alabamians on both sides of the issue discuss Middle East fighting

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:31 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:31:05 GMT
    The leader of the Hamas military wing has ruled out a quick cease-fire between the Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas is demanding Israel and Egypt lift a border blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007.
    More >>
    The leader of the Hamas military wing has ruled out a quick cease-fire between the Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas is demanding Israel and Egypt lift a border blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007.
    More >>
  • Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule, scores killed

    Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule, scores killed

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:11 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:11:20 GMT
    Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the war so far.More >>
    Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the war so far.
    More >>
  • Alabama picks up commitment from 4-star Ronnie Harrison

    Alabama picks up commitment from 4-star Ronnie Harrison

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:51:50 GMT
    Alabama scored a commitment from one of the top defensive back recruits in the nation. Four-star safety Ronnie Harrison announced his decision on Tuesday.More >>
    Alabama scored a commitment from one of the top defensive back recruits in the nation. Four-star safety Ronnie Harrison announced his decision on Tuesday.
    More >>