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)

Patient at New York City hospital tests positive for Ebola
A health care worker who recently returned from West Africa is being tested at a New York City hospital for possible Ebola, officials said.

Ebola fear an epidemic in US, official says
The fourth Ebola case in the U.S. was confirmed Thursday as Dr. Craig Spencer was diagnosed with the disease after preliminary tests at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.

Do you know your 'fitness age'? It may predict how long you'll live
How old are you? Before you jump to the quick answer­—I.e. the one you’ve celebrated every year with a progressively increasing number of candles and cake—know that you have another, even more important age: your fitness age.

How to feel calm before surgery
If you’re scheduled to have surgery, chances are you’re worried even if it’s not your first time.

Eating this fruit every day can help you lose weight
Could an apple a day keep the extra pounds away?

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 World Series Game #2 Pregame Show
7:00pm World Series Game #2: "Royals vs. Giants"
** Times Approximate after baseball **
10:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
10:35pm Modern Family
11:05pm Mike & Molly
11:35pm Mike & Molly
12:05am Community


Complete FOX 47 Schedule

To FOX.com

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix