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Growing Popularity of Cholesterol-lowering Drugs Raises Concern

A novel analysis about the usage of cholesterol lowering drugs has revealed the trend of healthy people using this drug as a means to prevent heart disease; Researchers warn// that these drugs are to be employed only to lower life-threatening health risks for those suffering vascular disease.

Popularly called statins, these drugs are beneficial in reducing the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular problems in patients suffering artery disease. The analysis revealed the most disconcerting aspect, that 75% of its users did not portray substantial evidence of vascular disease, to warrant a cholesterol lowering drug.

‘It's not a trivial, minor thing. It's the bulk of the prescribing,’ says Dr. Jim Wright, a professor at the University of B.C.

Wright and co-author Dr. John Abramson of Harvard Medical School, collated data from eight randomized trials that endeavored to compare statins with a placebo - in people who suffered a high risk of cardiovascular disease. The study revealed that statins did not make an impact in reducing the number of deaths. Further there was no palpable benefit to women.

In totality, researchers said that statins did bring down the risk of heart attack or stroke. But the complete risk cover was only about 1.5%, which is very little, researchers opined. Upon closer observation, the gains appeared to reflect only in the high risk category.

‘Most people have the impression that statins are going to make them live longer. For primary prevention, there hasn't been demonstrated to be any survival advantage,’ Wright said.

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