Controversy has followed new guidelines for prescribing statin drugs for lowering cholesterol ever since the recommendations were released in November by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
Now, researchers say the guidelines would increase the number of Americans eligible for statins by about 12.8 million, including just under half of all people ages 40-75. The study, led by Duke Clinical Research Institute scientists, was published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
In a separate article about the study published by USA Today, Scripps Health cardiologist Eric Topol, MD cautioned that only 2-3 percent of people without a previous heart attack or stroke will benefit from taking statins, which can cause side effects such as muscle pain and diabetes in up to 20 percent of those who take the drugs.
Read the USA Today article: Millions More Would Get Statins Based on New Guidelines