Doctors used to rely on a specific cholesterol level to determine which patients needed the drugs known as statins. Now new guidelines from the American Heart Association and The American College of Cardiology are recommending statins for four high risk groups.
The groups include: Patients with cardiovascular disease, those with a bad cholesterol 190 or higher, patients between 40 and 75 with Type 2 diabetes, and patients between 40 and 75 with a ten year elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.
The guidelines also emphasize a heart healthy lifestyle. Doctors say guidelines help, but stress each patient needs to be evaluated individually. The new guidelines include recommendations for prescribing statins, saying higher doses may be best for some patients.
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