Medical Minute: Cholesterol Control

Updated: 03/24/2014 5:47 PM
Created: 03/24/2014 3:02 PM
By: Dr. Timothy Johnson, ABC News

Should you be taking a statin?  According to guidelines issued in November, more Americans should be. A new study shows how many more Americans should take these pills and the numbers are shocking. ABC medical contributor, Dr. Timothy Johnson has more in this Medical Minute.

Cholesterol-busting statins are already among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the country, and they may soon be even more popular.

Their popularity is due to revamped guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Last November, new guidelines were released that may urge nearly half of American adults to take daily statins, according to a new study.

Duke University researchers say the new guidelines will mean that 56 million U.S. adults may be told to make a statin part of their daily routine.

That's nearly 13 million more American adults than before, and 10 million of these adults don't even have heart disease. Most older Americans will also fall into the group for which statins are recommended under these guidelines.

Ultimately, though, the decision to take statins is between a patient and his or her doctor. These drugs are relatively safe but not completely free of side effects. So remember the choice is yours.

Front Page

  • Alleged Wisc. Bank Robber in St. Louis County Jail

    A man was arrested in Duluth Saturday night after he allegedly robbed a bank in Eau Claire, Wisc. the night before. The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Eau Claire on Friday night.

  • Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener

    The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.

  • Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season

    Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.

  • "By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth

    Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally. 

  • MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000

    Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.


Freezing Rain Advisory

MN AREAS AFFECTED: East Marshall; East Polk; Lake Of The Woods; Mahnomen; Norman; North Beltrami; North Clearwater; Pennington; Red Lake; Roseau; South Beltrami; South Clearwater
Expires: 11/24/2014 3:00 AM

Dense Fog Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland; Bayfield; Iron; Price; Sawyer
Expires: 11/24/2014 12:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Bayfield; Douglas
Expires: 11/25/2014 6:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Ontonagon
Expires: 11/25/2014 7:00 AM

Dense Fog Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Ontonagon; Southern Houghton
Expires: 11/24/2014 7:00 AM