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Why has there been controversy about statins?
The controversy in the United Kingdom started in 2013 when the British Medical Journal (BMJ) claimed statins were being overprescribed to people with low risk of heart disease, and that the drugs’ side effects were worse than previously thought.
Is taking statins worth the risk?
Research has shown that statins are highly effective in reducing the risk of fatal heart attack and stroke. But some people are reluctant to take these life-saving drugs. They worry about taking medicine every day for the rest of their life or have heard that statins have undesirable side effects.
What is a contraindication of cholesterol lowering medications?
Statins are contraindicated for use by patients with active hepatic disease or unexplained persistent elevations in aminotransferase levels. Statins are contraindicated during pregnancy and while breastfeeding because of the effects on the cholesterol pathway.
Do statins actually lower cholesterol?
Statins are drugs that can lower your cholesterol. They work by blocking a substance your body needs to make cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol isn’t the only benefit associated with statins. These medications have also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Is High Cholesterol a myth?
Myth: All cholesterol is bad for you. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body: LDL (low-density lipoprotein), sometimes called “bad” cholesterol, makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Do statins compromise immune system?
However, there are side effects to be concerned about. Statins increase the risk of diabetes in those predisposed to it, and diabetes, especially if poorly controlled, has a negative effect on the immune system and the body’s ability to fight off infection.
Do statins weaken your immune system?
In addition to reducing cholesterol, statins also lower levels of inflammation in the body. Reducing inflammation probably helps statins to prevent heart attack and stroke. However, evidence is emerging that these statin effects may also have a downside, hindering the ability of the immune system to fight infections.
Which cholesterol-lowering drug is the safest?
Still, all in all, the statins are the safest and best tolerated of all cholesterol-lowering medications.
Are there any benefits to taking cholesterol medications?
The potential benefit to your health is worth making these medications part of your normal routine. Various medications can lower blood cholesterol levels. Statins are recommended for most patients and have been directly associated with a reduction in the risk of heart attack or stroke.
How does lowering your cholesterol affect your health?
They work by blocking a substance your body needs to make cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol isn’t the only benefit associated with statins. These medications have also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. These drugs may help stabilize the plaques on blood vessel walls and reduce the risk of certain blood clots.
Is there a link between cholesterol and heart disease?
Although there was fairly good epidemiologic evidence linking cholesterol to heart disease risk, definitive proof would require demonstrating causation, not simply an association from population studies. Given that medications to lower cholesterol were still some years off, the only available tool at this point was a dietary intervention.
How are statin drugs used to treat cholesterol?
Statins are medications that lower cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme involved in its production by the liver and other organs. First approved by the FDA in 1987, statins are arguably the most widely-prescribed medicine in the industrialized world today — and the most profitable, representing billions a year in profits to the drug industry.