WMSN FOX 47
 

FOX 47 - Health News

MADISON (WMSN) -- Cholesterol drugs, also known as statins, are credited with saving thousands of lives every year.



Now, a major drug maker wants to sell them to healthy people, as a way to prevent heart disease.



Crestor, the second-best selling cholesterol medication, will begin a new marketing strategy, and they're doing it with the government's blessing.



About 40 million people in this country take cholesterol medications, but new guidelines, approved by the FDA, would open the pharmacy to 6.5 million more people -- people with no cholesterol problems and no sign of heart problems.



Some doctors are putting up some red flags.



Studies show statins can increase a patient's risk for diabetes, liver disease, and muscle aches.



Dr. David Shearer is a family physician with Dean Health. He says taking a pill is not always the solution, and people need to focus on preventative steps.



"Stopping smoking, losing weight, eating a balanced diet, these lifestyle modifications are risk-free," Dr. Shearer said.



Still, statin use is skyrocketing. Doctors wrote more than 200 million prescriptions for cholesterol drugs last year. Usage doubled over the last decade, but it remains to be seen whether these new marketing strategies will mean more people will take the drugs.



"My prediction is it will not be widely accepted by the medical community," said Dr. Matthew Wolff, UW Hospital cardiologist.



Dr. Wolff says prescribing statins to people with little to no risk factors won't have a significant health impact, and will likely end up costing a lot of money.



"I think that's where the controversy arises -- it applies to the risk, but maybe more importantly to the expense of the drug. When you talk about treating potentially millions of people, you're only going to see a modest reduction in heart attacks, strokes, and deaths in the United States," Dr. Wolff said.



Both Shearer and Wolff say best advice for people is to have a one-on-one conversation with their doctor.



The new Crestor label says it may be prescribed for men over 50, and women over 60, who have one risk factor like smoking or hypertension.

Doctors debate cholesterol meds for healthy people

Video List

Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!

Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)

Not even helmets help pro bull riders stave off concussions
Kasey Hayes hopped on the bovine beast trapped in the narrow holding pen like he'd done hundreds of times.

Abuse complaints stack up against Jacksonville dentist
A growing number of parents are suing a Jacksonville dentist, accusing him of mistreating children and performing unneeded tooth extractions.

Smokers who quit may have brains hard-wired for success
Smokers who kick the habit could be hard-wired for success, thanks to greater communication between two regions of the brain that may play a role in controlling the urge to reach for cigarettes, a U.S. study suggests.

Common cleaning products can trigger asthma symptoms
Fumes from cleaning products used at work can make existing asthma worse, according to a new study of professional cleaning service employees.

Wal-Mart US asks meat suppliers to reduce antibiotic use
Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said its U.S. units were asking meat suppliers to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals, joining the list of U.S. companies that have responded to consumer and government concerns over the excess use of drugs in livestock.

Advertise with us!

Tonight on FOX 47

5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Big Bang Theory
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm Big Bang Theory
7:00pm Hell's Kitchen
8:00pm Bones
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Mike & Molly
10:35pm Mike & Molly
11:05pm Two and a Half Men
11:35pm The Simpsons
12:05am Community


Complete FOX 47 Schedule

To FOX.com

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix