Statins: Benefits beyond cardiovascular protection
The satirical songster Alan Sherman once crooned, "Somewhere, over the rainbow/ Way up tall/ There's a land where they've never/ heard of cholesterol." That's nowhere in the 50 states. The CDC says around 80 million Americans would benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering medicine, but only 43 million do.
The heart-protecting, risk-reducing benefits of statins -- the most-often prescribed med for elevated LDL cholesterol -- are proven. According to a 2014 meta-analysis of 20 years' worth of published research, the cardiovascular benefits are huge. But a growing number of studies shows statins do more than protect you from heart attack or stroke.
-- Several studies indicate they decrease your risk for dementia by protecting the health of blood vessels in the brain and helping prevent amyloid protein accumulation, which characterizes Alzheimer's.
-- They may reduce your risk for cancer, according to a new study that looked at a statin's impact on 367,000 people who had a particular cancer-related gene variant. Other studies show statins may reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer.
-- Statins may fight infection: A 2009 meta-analysis found folks on statins were 43% less likely to contract infections and 45% more likely to respond to treatment than people not taking statins. Docs now suggest statins may help fight off COVID-19.
So, don't debate whether you should take or stay on a prescribed statin. (Only 55% of people stick with 'em past six months.) That med may protect your heart, brain and a whole lot more from health problems.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.