By: Darria Long Gillespie, MD, MBA
New guidelines for prescribing statins released by The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) this week have caused debate -- and some consternation -- within the medical community.
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That's because the guidelines do an about-face from what used to be considered the gold standard for treating patients with high cholesterol: prescribe a statin and monitor "bad" LDL cholesterol levels through regular blood tests. The goal was to reach an LDL of less than 100 (or less than 70 for some). The new guidelines not only advise doctors not to prescribe statins based on cholesterol levels alone, they don't set any LDL target levels when the drug is prescribed.
Instead, doctors are advised to prescribe statin regimens based on an individual patient's medical conditions and -- in some cases -- via a new online risk calculator that would take otherRead More »from Heart Health: Do the New Statin Guidelines Affect You?