New guidelines could give more patients statins - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New guidelines could give more patients statins

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Statins are a class of drugs used block your liver from making too much cholesterol.

New guidelines were just released from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

American's may soon see a big change when it comes to treating high cholesterol.

Experts say the basic goal of prescribing statin drugs is to simply reduce the incidents of heart attacks and strokes.

Tina McCoy-Hearn, who has battled with cardiovascular issues, says she has been taking statins for about six years. She's extremely hopeful that these new guidelines are getting them closer to finding appropriate treatment options for cardiovascular issues.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology suggest that in determining who should be prescribed statins,  they will look at specific risk factors, instead of cholesterol numbers, as they did before.

We spoke with Jennifer Robinson, M.D., M.P.H., a University of Iowa professor for medicine and epidemiology, she says 30-percent of people over 50 years-old are currently on statins, but say those individuals are not necessarily those who benefit most from taking the drug.

Robinson suggest there's one core thing people of all ages should do.

"Lifestyle is the absolute foundation for everything we do to prevent heart attacks and strokes," says Robinson. "A heart-healthy life style, a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding smoking , all those things are critically important.  Everybody from childhood on should be doing those."

Dr. Robinson says they started looking into these guideline about four years ago, collecting evidence, and only considering the highest quality of evidence in their decision.

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