New Cholesterol Research And Heart Disease Prevention

New Cholesterol Research And Heart Disease Prevention

Millions of Americans take statins to lower their cholesterol. But new research questions the benefits for patients without heart disease and suggests these drugs can trigger dangerous side effects.

In the 30 years since they were approved by the FDA, cholesterol-lowering drugs called “statins” have cut in half Americans’ death rate from heart disease. Today, more than 20 million Americans take a statin drug like Lipitor or Zocor. Many of these people have high cholesterol but no sign of heart disease. There is growing evidence that statins provide little or no benefit for healthy patients and can trigger dangerous side effects. And new studies question whether there really is any link between cholesterol levels and heart disease. Diane and a panel of guests discuss the latest cholesterol research and what it means for heart disease prevention.

Guests

Sharon Begley

senior health and science correspondent at Reuters and contributing writer to The Saturday Evening Post; author of "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain"; and the co-author (with Jeffrey Schwartz) of "The Mind and the Brain."

Dr. Barbara Roberts

director, Women's Cardiac Center at Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island; associate clinical professor, Brown University's Alpert Medical school; author of "The Truth About Statins."

Dr. David Pearle

clinical cardiologist at Georgetown University Hospital, and professor in the department of medicine at Georgetown University.

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