Millions Untreated for High Cholesterol, but Are Drugs the Answer?

The news this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that as many as 48 million U.S. adults have high levels of bad cholesterol, and aren’t doing enough to control it, left out one conspicuous controversy: Should lots more Americans be taking statin drugs, or would it be a huge waste of money?

Statins like Crestor and Lipitor lower cholesterol in the blood by decreasing cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Since plaques in coronary arteries are mostly composed of cholesterol lowering cholesterol cuts the rate of formation of plaque, and in some cases, even shrinks it.

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