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)

3 things people get completely wrong about vitamin supplements
You may have seen a concerning headline recently about dietary supplements.

5 simple ways to fiber up
What if someone told you there was something naturally occurring in your food that could help you improve your gut health, lose weight, and live longer? 

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.

Advertise with us!

Tonight on FOX 47

12:00pm Ring of Honor Wrestling
1:00pm NASCAR on FOX: Xfinity Series "Hisense 4k TV 300"
4:00pm Paid Program
4:30pm Big Bang Theory
5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Two and a Half Men
6:00pm MLB on FOX: "Cardinals vs. Royals"
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:30pm Paid Program
10:00pm Animation Domination
11:00pm Ring of Honor Wrestling


Complete FOX 47 Schedule

To FOX.com

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix