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The use of statin drugs, such as Lipitor and Crestor, to lower cholesterol is at a all time high. The current US guidelines recommends that 24.5% of the population should be taking these medications. Unfortunately, these guidelines are based on little or insufficient evidence.

This past weekend I attended the ACAM (American College for the Advancement of Medicine) conference in which James Wright PhD gave an interesting talk on how statins are being over prescribed. Base on his research of the existing studies he felt that the only patients that should be on statins are those with proven occulsive vascular disease. And if you do fall into this category you should be aware of the following facts. Taking a statin will reduce you chance of a heart attack or stroke by only 5% and it will reduce you risk of death by only 2% over a 5 year period.

Rather than being scared into taking statins the public should be informed of the facts so that they can decide what is best for them.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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