Thursday, March 20, 2014

Risk Calculator Changes Cholesterol Guidelines

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have radically changed the approach to cholesterol levels, which is good and not-so-good.  It is now recommended that everyone takes a questionnaire that estimates his or her 10-year and lifetime risk for having a heart attack or stroke.  Then the patient chooses the risk factors that he can modify to reduce the risk.  The good part is the recognition that there are many risk factors other than cholesterol for vascular disease.  The bad parts are that no one agrees on what should be on the risk factor list, and that this approach might greatly expand the number of people that are put on statin drugs with minimal benefit.

Google the Framingham Risk Analysis or go to the Chappell Heart Alzheimer’s Stroke Score (CHAS) score, which will soon appear on

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