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

  • Early Morning Fire Sparks in Superior Building

    Our crew arrived on the scene of a fire inside Swanstrom Tools in Superior Wednesday morning. An Eyewitness News photographer caught the footage just before 4 a.m. Damage is estimated at $100,000.

  • Gogebic Taconite Delays Formal Request for Mine

    Gogebic Taconite says its application to develop an iron ore mine in northwestern Wisconsin will be pushed back until at least the fall of next year.

  • Former Minnesota Man Killed in Syria Fighting for ISIS

    A Minnesota high school graduate was killed in Syria over the weekend, according to family members. Douglas McAuthur McCain, a 33-year-old rapper, was among several ISIS militants the Free Syrian Army claimed on Twitter had been killed over the weekend in fighting for the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo. 

  • Public Comments on Soo Line Ore Dock's Future

    About a month ago, Ashland acquired the Soo Line Ore dock back from the Canadian National Railroad company. On Tuesday, the dock finally opened. They had a "Docks n' Brats" celebration as a way to gain community input for the future of the site.

  • Minntac in Mt. Iron Waiting for Permits

    Senator Al Franken took a tour of the Northland's largest mine on Tuesday. He also pledged to call about a permitting issue that he's weighed in on before. His challenger, Republican Mike McFadden, also weighed in permitting.