Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning Centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.


Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Debate Over Statins Heats Up as Lipitor Heads Toward a Generic Form

Is a statin the answer to everyone's high cholesterol?

Today nearly 32 million Americans — one in four Americans age 45 and older — take statins, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

A lifetime of medication

Stanford's Hlatky says his concern about the JUPITER trial it that it only ran for about two years.

"Most people are not going to take the drug for two years and stop," he says. "They're going to take it for the rest of their natural lives." Statins can occasionally cause liver problems or a muscle-destroying condition called rhabdomyolysis, he points out. As the recent findings about the diabetes risk reveals, no one knows whether there might be other side effects after taking the drugs for 10 or 20 years.

Today nearly 32 million Americans — one in four Americans age 45 and older — take statins.

Hlatky says brand-new results from Britain's Heart Protection Study are "reassuring," because an 11-year follow-up of 20,536 patients found statin users were not at increased risk for cancer or death compared with those taking a placebo. They were also 23 percent less likely to have suffered a major heart-related event.

Stay tuned

An expert panel is currently updating the guidelines, says Michael Blaha, M.D., a research and clinical fellow at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. And, he says, "without a doubt" they're going to expand the number of people who should be on statins.

He supports the idea of using statins to prevent heart disease. If you wait until you've had your first heart attack, he asks, "haven't you waited too long?"

Also of interest: Dr. Oz: Can statins prevent high cholesterol?

Michael Haederle is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in People, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Health blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP Bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do