New Medical Guidelines for Patients at Risk for Stroke and Heart Disease

A major change in the number of people who will be prescribed statins.
1:57 | 11/12/13

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Transcript for New Medical Guidelines for Patients at Risk for Stroke and Heart Disease
Tonight a big health alert that could change your medicine and your life. More than 30 million americans take statins to lower their cholesterol. Because of the news about heart attacks and strokes that number could double. Dr. Richard besser now on what's coming. Reporter: They are life saving drugs, the best we have for lowering the risks of heart attacks and strokes, statins. Today new guidelines that dramatically eksz panned their use to one third of adults. We're going tore treating many more people who have not yet had a first event. That's a very big deal. Reporter: Statins will now be recommended for all people with type two diabetes age 40 to 75 regardless of cholesterol. The new guidelines also look at race and sex and recommend statins if your risks 7.5 percent. A 55-year-old african-american woman with high pressure would not go on a statin. Today she would. Treating people makes sense. It's important however that we treat the right people. Our own rich besser is here. A third of all adults in this country on prescription medication. Does this give you pause? It does. In general statins are safe. Some may have muscle pain or increase in diabetes. If you have a low risk to begin with you have to decide is it worth it. Do I want to go on a drug for the rest of my life to lower it a little more. There are interactions with these drugs. There are many drug interactions. If you are starting on this new you have to check with those. Something as simple as grapefruit juice is something you have to avoid. Tonight too many americans

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