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Consumer Reports Health Questions Use of Statins By Children and Some Women
Date:6/29/2010

rmone levels.  For women who only have high LDL, the bad cholesterol, and no heart disease, the risks of statins might outweigh the benefits. Risks include headache, joint and muscle pain, and diarrhea. Other risks that are rarer include liver damage and rhabdomylosis, a breakdown of muscle tissue that can lead to coma and even death. There is also an association with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

"Contrary to what many consumers believe, we don't have solid medical evidence supporting the use of statins in children and there is no long-term safety data tracking kids who take statins for 10 or 20 years.  And when it comes to healthy women, statins' limited benefits may not outweigh their risks," said John Santa, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.

Since the first statin, lovastatin, came on the market in 1987, statins have been a boon to the pharmaceutical industry.  Cholesterol-lowering drugs were the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. in 2009 and collectively earned more than $14 billion dollars last year alone, according to IMS Health.  When adults have high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as the bad cholesterol, they are at increased risk of heart disease and heart attack.  Statins lower LDL cholesterol levels and can decrease blockages in the arteries that supply the heart, brain and leg muscles in people who have atherosclerosis.  

The Seventh Statin: What It Means for Consumers

The Consumer Reports BBD reports coincide with the arrival of Livalo, the so called "7th Statin," which industry watchers expect to be promoted as a high potency drug, though it has not earned solid proof of preventing a cardiovascular event.  "With Livalo arriving on market, there
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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