By Dr. Mercola
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a federal advisory board, has issued a draft recommendation that certain healthy adults should start taking statin cholesterol-lowering drugs as a form of preventive medicine.
Their guidelines suggest people between the ages of 40 and 75 with at least one risk factor for heart disease and a 10 percent or greater risk of heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years should take statins.
This advice applies to people who have not had a previous heart attack or stroke,1 and follows similar 2013 recommendations made by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC).
Middle-Age Adults Without Heart Disease May Soon Be Offered Statins
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are already among the most widely prescribed drugs on the market, with 1 in 4 Americans over 45 taking them.
This already inflated number is set to increase significantly, however, courtesy of controversial revised cholesterol-treatment guidelines issued by AHA and ACC in 2013 — and now further endorsed by the USPSTF.
The guideline report was prepared by a panel of “experts” who volunteered their time, and is ostensibly based on an analysis of randomized controlled trials. Not surprisingly, the panel members are affiliated with more than 50 different drug companies, many of which have a financial interest in the outcome of this report.
As for what risk factors necessitate statin drug treatment, it’s based on the following criteria:
Total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol
Diabetes (yes or no)
Smoker (yes or no)
Treated for high blood pressure (yes or no)
The USPSTF recommended treatment for those with a 10 percent or greater risk of heart problems in the next 10 years (based on the 2013 AHA-ACC online calculator2). The original ACC/AHA guidelines suggested treatment if your risk came