Cardiology Blog, Alegent Health Care
June 6, 2010
There is no class of medications in the history of the world that has been better studied that statins. This class of drugs is more properly termed HMG CoA reductase (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl co-enzyme A reductase) inhibitors, but with a name like that a terser nickname is almost mandatory (the name statin comes from the suffix of the members of this class: lovastatin, pravastatin, etc.). Simply speaking, this chemical blocks the metabolic pathway that produces cholesterol, which, of course, is known* to be a chief culprit in the formation of arterial blockages and is a direct risk factor for heart attacks and stroke…
Since the development of the first widely used statin in 1976 (lovastatin, originally isolated from penicillin fungus) thousands of patients have participated in major research studies assessing the safety and effectiveness of this class of medications and more than 3 billion prescriptions have been filled in the U.S. alone…
n summary, if you are unfortunate enough to have had a heart attack, stroke, vascular disease, or diabetes, you are at immense risk of suffering some vascular complication down the road. Pharmaceutical research has provided us an enormously potent tool to cut the risk of heart attack, stroke and death in such individuals, and more than a hundred-thousand patients donated their bodies to help prove the safety of this therapy.
Each of you has to make your own choice about every medication you introduce into your body, but I would encourage you to put a little faith in the best science that modern medicine has to offer and submit to letting your doctor help you control your cholesterol.