Cardiovascular disease is common in the United States — so common, in fact, that one out of every four deaths in the country is linked to heart disease.
Physicians have long used statins, a class of lipid-lowering drugs, to treat those who are at risk.
This medication class is one of the most commonly prescribed on the market, amounting to billions of dollars in annual sales in the United States.
But while they’ve proven to be effective for some patients, new research suggests that the medical community is overprescribing statins and should instead only use them for people who are at an increased risk.
What’s more, the most effective treatment for most people isn’t a drug at all — it’s good, old-fashioned healthy living.
Researchers from the University of Zurich published their findings this week in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
The researchers noted that many guidelines recommend statins for people whose 10-year cardiovascular disease risk is the in 7.5 to 10 percent range.
They evaluated patients in this category.