Health Team

Should the healthy take statins?

Posted April 20, 2009

Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs used by millions of Americans to battle cardiac disease. However, there is concern that the drugs shouldn't be prescribed without limits.

Patricia Thomas has coronary artery disease and takes statins to keep her cholesterol in check.

“It keeps the arteries from getting blocked,” she said.

Statins are prescribed to reduce the risk of fatty deposits which can cause life-threatening clots in the blood stream.

Should the healthy take statins? Study examines statin risks

A recent study suggested that millions more people – even those without high cholesterol – could benefit from statins. However, new research found the drugs could harm people whose cholesterol levels are already low.

The risks are "associated with some mental problems, (such as) processing, depression, maybe some mental illness, concentration,” said Dr. David Langer, with St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital.

Cholesterol helps release chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain. They help carry messages between brain cells. Researchers discovered when brain cells are deprived of cholesterol, they are five times less effective.

The researchers say doctors should be wary of prescribing statins to healthy people, but patients like Thomas do benefit from the drugs.

"It's just one less thing for me to worry about and I feel safe,” Thomas said.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 22, 2009

    Food source Cholestoral is found only in animal products...something the human body has no need for. But now, Ms. Thomas need not pay any attention to what she eats and there's just no way that this is healthy for the long haul.

    On the other side of people like Ms. Thomas, there's this 95 year old who is my hero. :-)

  • whatelseisnew Apr 22, 2009

    A friend now has a pace maker thanks to statins. A physically fit person, exercised including running every day. Was told the particular drug he was taking was not what he should have been taking.

  • 3779LRRP Apr 21, 2009

    It's just too easy to take that statin pill and then forget about the cholesterol. Then take a Co-Enzyme Q-10 to make up for the loss. Then take a blood pressure lowering pill. Then add an aspirin to ward off blood clots and strokes. My goodness.... exercise in a bottle.

  • lmbaker Apr 21, 2009

    Big Pharma will do anything to sell more prescriptions. The side effects of the statins can do a person more harm in some cases than good. Statin drugs deplete co-enzyme Q10 which is needed in the muscles. When its depleted people experience muscle pain and weakness. Think about it..the heart is a muscle.
    If a person is willing to make changes in their life(in most cases) they can bring their cholesterol down naturally without taking a statin.
    also you need to look at inflammation in your body. This can be done by having the doctor run a high sensitive c-reactive protein. If it is high you still run the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
    Educate willing to make lifestyle changes...