4. Research That Suggests Statins Are Ineffective
The medical community has long linked high cholesterol with heart disease. However, in 2013, a study published in BMJ Open Journal suggested that cholesterol-lowering statins did not prevent hospitalization or death in elderly frail men. A second study also reported the lack of a link between high LDL levels and atherosclerosis in elderly individuals. These findings prompted a wave of reports that statin medications are a “waste of time” and that heart disease should be prevented through dietary and lifestyle changes.
3. 2018 American Heart Association Scientific Session Guidelines
Johns Hopkins Medicine announced that the 2018 American Heart Association Scientific Session calls for two changes in the prevention of atherosclerosis and heart disease. The first is that medical personnel should aggressively use statins to treat high cholesterol levels when warranted. The second is that medical staff should use risk assessment tools to determine which patients would benefit from statin therapy and which patients would not. This approach also calls for making lifestyle changes when possible in the fight against atherosclerosis and heart disease. JAMA reports that clinical studies have proven that statins effectively prevent heart disease and save lives.
2. The Best Candidates for Statin Therapy
While statin medications can lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease, not everyone is a good candidate for their use. According to the American Heart Association, the New Guidelines for Statin Use involve assessing your risk of heart disease and choosing a course of treatment accordingly. Adults between the ages of 40 and 75 may fall into the categories of low, borderline, intermediate, and high risk, and should consider the use of statins accordingly. Adults between 20 and 39 years old may use lifestyle changes to decrease their cholesterol levels, unless they are considered high-risk.