There may soon be more Americans using cholesterol-busting statin drugs.
Under new guidelines released by the American Heart Association, twice as many Americans who use drugs such as Crestor and Zeltia, may soon be using them to improve their cholesterol levels.
The biggest change in the new guidelines boils down to numbers.
Cleveland Clinic chief of cardiovascular medicine Dr. Steven Nissen says for many years the goal was getting the "bad" cholesterol levels under 100. He says those targets are now completely eliminated under the new guidelines.
The new guidelines suggest using specific risk factors to decide who should be using statin drugs and who needs to just make lifestyle changes.
The guidelines now say if you have heart disease, diabetes, a bad cholesterol level over 190 and a ten-year risk for a heart attack more than seven and a half percent, you should be taking a statin drug.
For people who do not fit those measuring sticks, the committee who put together the new guidelines says lifestyle and behavior management should be enough to deal with high cholesterol.