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Statins

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NEWS
August 27, 2001 | By Marie McCullough INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Over the last decade, the anticholesterol drugs known as statins have proven to be so safe and effective that a troubling thing has happened: Many physicians tend to think statins are even safer than they actually are. Statins have been linked to muscle damage, liver toxicity, memory changes, numbness, depression and irritability, but many family doctors are familiar only with the drugs' power to fight heart disease - the leading killer of...
NEWS
November 17, 2013 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Medical guidelines are meant to unify doctors and standardize care for patients around treatments supported by the best available science. But the latest guidelines on the use of statins, a class of drugs used to reduce cholesterol, are already generating significant pushback from doctors. The controversy is likely to confuse patients. The new rules released this week by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology would expand the number of people getting statins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or stroke while eliminating specific numeric goals for LDL, or bad cholesterol.
NEWS
February 29, 2012 | Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Federal health officials are adding new safety warnings about risks of memory loss and elevated blood sugar to statins, the most widely prescribed group of cholesterol-lowering medications. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it was making labeling changes to medicines such as Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor, AstraZeneca's Crestor, and Merck & Co. Inc.'s Zocor. The drugs are used by tens of millions of U.S. patients to help prevent heart-related problems associated with cholesterol.
NEWS
April 15, 2011 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Five years ago, at age 49, Greg Walter felt uncharacteristically forgetful and confused. "I've been able to multitask for years, and all of a sudden, I was not remembering things," recalled the hospital administrator. "I was working off Post-it notes. Until I crossed something off the Post-it, I couldn't be sure what I had done. " He was not, as he initially feared, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The culprit turned out to be Lipitor, the cholesterol-lowering statin he was taking to prevent heart disease.
BUSINESS
November 11, 2008 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
They are the kind of results that a drug company prays for: a 54 percent reduction in heart attacks for patients taking AstraZeneca P.L.C.'s Crestor compared with a placebo. A 44 percent reduction in heart problems, such as stroke. But it's far from clear that the home-run numbers will translate into sizzling sales for AstraZeneca, or for other companies that make cholesterol-lowering drugs. "The world of prescribing physicians already appears polarized into those that believe these are significant new findings, and those that interpret the results with caution, for various reasons," said Timothy Anderson, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. An unscientific online survey of 150 doctors yesterday by the New England Journal of Medicine found that 52 percent said the new study likely would not change their prescribing behavior.
NEWS
July 24, 2004 | By Linda Loyd INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Get ready for an all-out war of the cholesterol-lowering drugs. Will it be Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor - or Vytorin? The Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved Vytorin, which combines two existing cholesterol medicines, Zocor and Zetia, into a single tablet. The combination - Zetia from Schering-Plough Corp. and Merck & Co. Inc.'s Zocor - has been shown in two company-sponsored studies to lower cholesterol better than Zocor alone or than Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug, from Pfizer Inc., with sales last year of $9.23 billion.
LIVING
July 10, 2000 | INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
Two more recent studies suggest that widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may have bone-enhancing effects that prevent fractures. Patients reduced their risk of fractures by about 70 percent in one study and by 45 percent in the other. The findings, which appeared two weeks ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association, follow the publication a week earlier of similar research in the British journal the Lancet. Statins are taken by about eight million Americans to treat high cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.
NEWS
June 29, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Winans had a right to feel uneasy. His maternal grandfather died of a heart attack at 55. His mother's brother made it to 57 before meeting the same fate. Several cousins on his mother's side also had heart disease - including a second cousin who died at 40. Yet Winans did not have especially high cholesterol levels, and at 38, the Jeffersonville resident was a nonsmoker and in good physical shape. Should he take statins as a precaution? The answer, he hoped, lay in a big white doughnut at Temple University Hospital.
LIVING
November 15, 1999 | By Donald C. Drake, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Many thousands of Americans die needlessly of heart disease and strokes each year because they're not getting a type of drug that's been on the market for more than a decade. The precise number of unnecessary deaths is not known, but medical authorities say it's a significant percentage of the million or so people who die each year from these problems. The drug group - called statins - is dramatically effective in controlling cholesterol, a major cause of heart and blood-vessel disease.
NEWS
January 29, 2008 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Jennifer Loftus did everything she could think of to bring down her high cholesterol. But nothing - not diet, not exercise, not even natural supplements - helped her control the problem. After six years of trying, the otherwise healthy 36-year-old nurse from Marlton was ready to take her doctor's advice: start a lifelong, daily regimen of cholesterol-lowering statins. It's what millions of Americans do - turning statins into huge moneymakers for drug companies. The cholesterol-lowering drugs have been shown in clinical studies to reduce the risk of death, heart attack and other problems in patients with cardiovascular disease, but it is less clear that they help patients such as Loftus who don't yet have heart disease.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 15, 2015 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
A survey of local cardiologists finds that they want patients to be more aware of the perils of an abnormal heart rhythm as well as the value of newer blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering statins. The survey of 475 heart specialists at dozens of hospitals and private practices was conducted this month by the Cardiovascular Institute of Philadelphia, an independent nonprofit dedicated to improving heart health in the Delaware Valley through educational programs. More than 70 physicians responded to the survey, which asked them to pick three important cardiology issues or developments that they felt patients should know more about.
NEWS
June 29, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Winans had a right to feel uneasy. His maternal grandfather died of a heart attack at 55. His mother's brother made it to 57 before meeting the same fate. Several cousins on his mother's side also had heart disease - including a second cousin who died at 40. Yet Winans did not have especially high cholesterol levels, and at 38, the Jeffersonville resident was a nonsmoker and in good physical shape. Should he take statins as a precaution? The answer, he hoped, lay in a big white doughnut at Temple University Hospital.
NEWS
May 25, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two federally funded clinical studies have dashed hopes that cholesterol-fighting statin drugs could relieve severe or life-threatening breathing problems. Past studies suggested patients with lung damage who were taking statins had better outcomes than patients who were not, presumably because statins can reduce inflammation and block cholesterol production. But one of the trials, designed and led by Temple University researcher Gerard J. Criner, found that simvastatin (brand name Zocor)
NEWS
February 2, 2014 | By Meeri Kim, For The Inquirer
Since the 1960s, the number of people dying from heart disease has fallen steadily in the United States. But heart disease is still responsible for a quarter of all deaths, and remains the leading cause of mortality for both men and women. Innovations in care and more insight into risk factors has helped lessen its damaging impact. One insight is that many people can control their risk. Most heart disease is preventable, but "we don't pay attention to that disease process" until it's too advanced, said Daniel Edmundowicz, medical director of the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute in North Philadelphia.
NEWS
November 18, 2013
28th no-show Although commentator Salena Zito laments that President Obama will not be in Gettysburg on Tuesday for the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's address, no president has ever attended the annual ceremony marking the speech ("Obama snubs Gettysburg," Nov. 15). President John F. Kennedy was invited for the 100th anniversary, but the offer was declined, supposedly because of conflicting plans for a trip to Texas. Should the president change his mind and decide to speak, it would be appropriate of him to take the place of U.S. Sen. Edward Everett of Massachusetts, who preceded Lincoln and spoke for more than two, unremarkable hours.
NEWS
November 17, 2013 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Medical guidelines are meant to unify doctors and standardize care for patients around treatments supported by the best available science. But the latest guidelines on the use of statins, a class of drugs used to reduce cholesterol, are already generating significant pushback from doctors. The controversy is likely to confuse patients. The new rules released this week by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology would expand the number of people getting statins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or stroke while eliminating specific numeric goals for LDL, or bad cholesterol.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By Art Carey, Inquirer Columnist
Peter Hopkins, the music director at St. Peter's Church, is an erudite, energetic man who plays the piano and organ, sings with a fine tenor voice, and can blend the disparate voices in the choir so that hymns fill the historic Episcopal church in Society Hill with a sound that's upliftingly supernal. Physically, he looks lean and fit, carrying 180 pounds on a 5-foot-11 frame. If you met him today, you'd never believe that he once weighed 300 pounds. But such were the wages of sin in his youth.
NEWS
February 29, 2012 | Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Federal health officials are adding new safety warnings about risks of memory loss and elevated blood sugar to statins, the most widely prescribed group of cholesterol-lowering medications. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it was making labeling changes to medicines such as Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor, AstraZeneca's Crestor, and Merck & Co. Inc.'s Zocor. The drugs are used by tens of millions of U.S. patients to help prevent heart-related problems associated with cholesterol.
NEWS
November 15, 2011 | By Marilynn Marchione, Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. - Give people free prescription drugs and many of them still won't bother to take their medicine. Doctors were stunned to see that happen in a major study involving heart attack survivors. The patients were offered well-known drugs to prevent a recurrence of heart trouble, including cholesterol-lowering statins and drugs that slow the heart and help it pump more effectively. "My God, we gave these people the medicines for free and only half took it," said one of the study's authors, Elliott Antman of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
NEWS
November 4, 2011 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Exercising daily and skipping french fries probably would do more to improve the health of human hearts, but that medical discussion took a new turn Tuesday when the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said in the strongest terms yet that it would try to create an over-the-counter version of its best-selling cholesterol drug, Lipitor. In the 19 years since Lipitor was approved, more than 17 million Americans have gotten a prescription for it. But this is about more than medicine.
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