Huh? 87 Percent of Men Age 60-Plus Should Take a Statin?

If statin guidelines released last fall were followed to the letter, nearly all men between ages 60 and 75 would be taking a cholesterol-lowering drug even if they didn’t have heart disease, according to a new study that analyzed the impact of the controversial recommendations. The Duke University-led study projected that following the guidelines would result in nearly 13 million more Americans taking statins, most of them 60-plus. Among adults 60 to 75 without heart disease and not on statins, …

CDC: 4 Things Could Prevent 200,000 Deaths Yearly

At least 200,000 Americans under age 75 die needlessly each year from heart disease and stroke that could have been prevented by doing four important things: quitting smoking, reducing cholesterol, controlling blood pressure and taking a daily low-dose aspirin if a doctor approves. The findings are from a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that also points out that more than half of these avoidable deaths are occurring among those under 65. “These findings are really …

Is How You Eat as Important as What You Eat?

In predicting future cardiovascular disease in preschoolers, is how children eat as important as what they eat? The surprising answer is yes. A Canadian study led by Dr. Nav Persaud, a family physician, found “a significant association between poor eating habits in kids ages three to five and their levels of non-HDL-or ‘bad’-cholesterol, putting them at risk for cardiovascular disease later in life.” The eating habits that place children at risk for heart disease in adulthood are – eating while …

Carnitine: A New Reason to Cut Back on Red Meat?

Maybe it’s not really cholesterol from that big, juicy steak that’s linked to heart disease. Instead, it could be a compound in red meat called carnitine, which does a number on our gut bacteria if we eat too much meat too often, suggests intriguing new research. Carnitine seems to have a profound effect on certain bacteria in the intestine; these in turn produce a chemical linked to clogging of the arteries and heart disease. The more meat we eat, the …

Apple-a-Day Drops ‘Bad’ Cholesterol 40 Percent

Statins, schmatins. Just eat one whole apple a day and you can cut your cholesterol. By a lot. Or so a new study from Ohio State University suggests. A group of healthy older adults ages 40 to 60 who ate an apple a day for four weeks ended up lowering their levels of LDL – called the “bad” cholesterol because it gums up the arteries – by a whopping 40 percent. Wow, we thought, that old saying really is true. …

Statin Benefits Outweigh Diabetes Risk

One in four Americans over age 45 take the cholesterol-lowering drugs collectively known as statins. Recently, some researchers have raised concern that these drugs could increase diabetes risk, especially among post-menopausal women or people taking high statin doses. But a large new analysis shows that the cardiovascular benefits of statins outweigh diabetes concerns, even for high-risk groups.