Who should use statins?

“Statins are even more important than previously thought. More people qualify for them. They have side effects, including muscle cramps. Know the side effects you might have while you take these marvelous health aides.” Bill Chesnut, MD

USPSTF releases draft recommendation on who should use statins

The AP (12/22, Neergaard) reports that the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued a draft recommendation on “who qualifies for cholesterol-lowering stains.” In the new “draft guidelines” released Dec. 21 for public comment, the USPSTF “says the…medications will be of most benefit to some people ages 40 to 75 whose risk of cardiovascular disease over the next decade is at least 10 percent.” According to the AP, the task force recommendations “are similar to…2013 guidelines from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology.”

TIME (12/22, Park) reports that physicians can assess patients’ “10-year risk by plugging certain information into a web-based calculator formulated by the” AHA and ACC. Two years ago, “the two groups debuted” a “revised algorithm, along with their recommendation that people with a 7.5% or greater risk of heart events in the next 10 years consider taking a statin to reduce that risk.” The USPSTF, however, “concluded that people with a 10% or greater risk of heart problems in the next 10 years, based on the 2013 AHA-ACC calculator, and who have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or who smoke, can lower their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by a ‘moderate amount’ by taking a statin.”

HealthDay (12/22, Thompson) reports that the “panel added that people with a 10-year risk of heart attack and stroke between 7.5 percent and 10 percent might also benefit from statins, and should discuss the matter with their” physician.