Study Looks At New Guidelines for Statin Prescription To More Cardiovascular Patients at Higher Risk

FILE - This undated photo provided by by Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., shows Atorvastatin Calcium tablets, a generic form of Lipitor, which is being sold under a deal with Pfizer. The nation's first new guidelines in a decade for preventing heart attacks and strokes call for twice as many Americans — one-third of all adults — to consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs such as this or Zocor or Crestor. The guidelines, issued Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, are a big change. They use a new formula for estimating someone's risk that includes many factors besides cholesterol, the main focus now. (AP Photo/Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., Bill Gallery)
This June 14, 2011, file photo, shows the drug Lipitor at Medco Health Solutions Inc., in Willingboro, N.J. A new study shows very long-term benefits from even short-term use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, such as Lipitor. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
This June 14, 2011, file photo, shows the drug Lipitor at Medco Health Solutions Inc., in Willingboro, N.J. A new study shows very long-term benefits from even short-term use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, such as Lipitor. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Silvia Fernandez, PIONEER NEWS

 
(PiercePioneer.com) — A new study has examined the statin guidelines for prevention of cardiovascular events to discover that tens of thousands of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular-related deaths could be avoided if they would prescribe the drugs to more patients with higher risks.

“The new cholesterol treatment guidelines have been controversial, so our goal for this study was to use the best available evidence to quantify the tradeoffs in health benefits, risks, and costs of expanding statin treatment. We found that the new guidelines represent good value for money spent on healthcare, and that more lenient treatment thresholds might be justifiable on cost-effectiveness grounds even accounting for side-effects such as diabetes and myalgia,” explains lead study author Ankur Pandya, who is an assistant professor of health decision science at Harvard Chan School.

 

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