Patients say lack of physician guidance and fear of side effects are why they don’t take statins as prescribed

Despite national guidelines indicating that statins can lower risk of heart attack and stroke, many patients who could benefit do not take them. More than half of eligible patients say they were never offered the cholesterol-lowering drugs; the experience of side effects or fear of side effects were reasons for stopping or refusing statins, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Statins lower the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) and have been shown to lower the risk of heart attack and strokes. Because statins are proven effective and have a low risk of side effects, guidelines from the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology recommend doctors use an atherosclerotic and cardiovascular disease risk calculator to give a detailed assessment of a person’s 10-year risk for heart disease and to help create a personalized plan.

Full story at Science Daily

Poor response to cholesterol drugs may indicate blocked arteries

If your “bad” cholesterol level stays the same or increases after you take statin drugs, you may have more blocked arteries than people whose levels drop, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to plaque buildup, thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result.

Full story of response to cholesterol drugs at Science Daily