Are statins being over prescribed in healthy people?
Rolling back suggestions from previous studies, a Johns Hopkins study of 950 healthy men and women has shown that taking daily doses of a cholesterol-lowering statin medication to protect coronary arteries and ward off heart attack or stroke may not be needed for everyone.
In a study to be presented Nov. 16 at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago, the Johns Hopkins team found that nearly 95 percent of all heart attacks, strokes or heart-related deaths occurred in the half of study participants with some measurable buildup of artery-hardening calcium in the blood vessels; hence, only this subgroup might have benefited from preventive drug therapy.
In conclusion, Blumenthal recommends that all people monitor their risk factors for heart disease, according to their age and gender, diabetes, blood-cholesterol levels, hypertension and smoking. If it is recommended by your physician, he said, get a coronary calcium CT scan to gauge actual risk.