November 26, 2013
As of Tuesday, November 12th, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new cholesterol guidelines.
The new guidelines call for these four types of people to take doctor-prescribed statins:
(1) Patients who have a known case of heart disease
(2) Individuals between age 40-75 with Type 2 diabetes
(3) Individuals with an LDL count or “bad cholesterol” count of 190 or higher (this puts you at the greatest risk for developing heart disease according to the Mayo Clinic)
(4) And lastly, individuals with a 7.5 percent chance of developing heart disease or stroke in the next 10 years based on the American Heart Association’s CV Risk Calculator.
The major changes to the guidelines include that statins will no longer be prescribed to lower LDL levels to 70 mg/dL or below and previously individuals between a 10-20 percent risk of developing heart disease were recommended to take statins (as compared to the now 7.5%). This second alteration will increase the number of healthy Americans taking statins by roughly 70 percent according to Abramson & Redberg of the NY Times.
Here’s why people are pissed.
The factors involved in calculating an individual’s cardiovascular risk include: age, sex, race, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and whether or not they smoke or have diabetes [Source: stltoday]. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of individuals suffering from cardiovascular disease have it as a result of ‘smoking, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, and other lifestyle factors.’ [Source: NY Times]
What will possess these individuals to change their unhealthy lifestyles if doctors are told to simply throw medication at the problem?
Some experts have questioned the science behind the new guidelines, such as GWU Hospital cardiologist, Jonathan Reiner, who said that there is a lack of “robust data” on the subject to indicate conclusive results supporting the new guidelines.
Statins are the number one most prescribed medicine in the U.S. today and it is no secret that these drugs dramatically boost profits of major pharmaceutical companies.
Most of the people that I see who take statins are on them for the rest of their lives. I’ve had many clients get fit enough to stop taking statins simply through lifestyle alterations. Exercising, eating right, and not smoking are the ultimate healers, and you don’t need to figure out if you fall under some new guidelines to find out if they are right for you. A healthy lifestyle change is right for everyone.
To learn more, check out The Truth about Statins.
To learn how statins affect your exercise routine, click here.