21 Nov USPSTF Updates Recommendation of Statins for Prevention of Heart Disease
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Doug Owens MD
former USPSTF Task Force member
Professor at Stanford University
Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. Professor
Director of the Center for Health Policy
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research
Department of Medicine and School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for review and statement?
Response: Cardiovascular disease is serious—it can lead to heart attacks and strokes, and is responsible for one in every three adult deaths in the U.S. People with no signs or symptoms and no past history of cardiovascular disease can still be at risk. Fortunately, some people can benefit from taking a medication called statins to reduce that risk.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the key recommendations?
Response: After a thorough review of the evidence on statin use among people with no prior history of cardiovascular disease, the Task Force found that low- to moderate-dose statins are most beneficial for adults aged 40-75 years who have one or more cardiovascular risk factors and a 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event that is 10% or greater. In patients with a calculated risk between 7.5% and 10%, the benefits are smaller, so the Task Force recommends clinicians discuss the benefits and harms of statin use with each patient to determine what is right for him or her.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The Task Force recommends that people who have a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years, as calculated by their doctor, and who have a risk factor including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or are a smoker, should consider taking a statin. In addition, people at lower risk may also benefit from taking a daily statin. It’s important that those who have concerns about the chance that they will develop cardiovascular disease talk to their primary care doctor to determine whether taking statins for prevention would be beneficial for them.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Regardless of your risk for heart disease, everyone can lower the chance that they will have a heart attack or stroke by not smoking, eating a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and limiting alcohol use. Managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and taking aspirin when indicated can also help.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Statin Use for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA.2016;316(19):1997-2007. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15450
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