New heart attack and stroke calculator could boost number on med - Tucson News Now

New heart attack and stroke risk calculator could boost number on cholesterol meds

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

For many, Thanksgiving is that day where anything goes at the table.

"That's a free day, as far as I'm concerned!" said Laura Walters, who said that she's on cholesterol medication and that her cholesterol is under control.  She said that a new approach that warns more people what might happen to them ten years down the line can be effective.

"I think that's probably a good idea," she said.

"They are to be commended in the fact that they have made and actually more comprehensive approach at this as opposed to scales of numbers," said Dr. William Howe, a cardiologist with Carondelet Heart and Vascular Institute Physicians at St. Mary's Hospital.

The new system from American Heart Association and American College of Cardiologists could double the number of people on statins, which control cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Howe welcomed the new system which gets patients away from targeting numbers, which was how cholesterol had been explained to patients.  The new method tells patients their risk based on their age, weight, and lifestyle among other factors.  But there have been concerns that the system is flawed and will alert too many to a risk that might not be there.

"We're trying to go towards more primary prevention versus secondary prevention where we treat people after they've had an event, and the cost and quality of life impact that has is much greater than, say, prescribing a low dose statin to limit risk," Dr. Howe said.

Getting a conversation started about better living and possibly starting the use of statins as prevention is something that Dr. Howe considered beneficial.

"When we as professionals have seen patients with heart attack and stroke and very deleterious outcomes, we wish we would have prevented that sooner," he said.

"We need to be aware of it and take care of it when we have it," Walters said.

Dr. Howe said that statins have come down in price with the use of generics, that side effects have been reduced, and that they can be avoided by lowering the prescription as needed.

The Institute will open its new facilities at St. Mary's next month.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

 

  • Local newsMore>>

  • AZGFD and U.S. Forest Service advise on the dangers of mountain lions

    AZGFD and U.S. Forest Service advise on the dangers of mountain lions

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 10:37 PM EDT2018-06-21 02:37:12 GMT

    The more times you take to the trails at Sabino Canyon, the more likely you are to come across wildlife. "I'm out here every day," said Ben Markwart, who was running through the area on Wednesday. Markwart isn't a stranger to Sabino Canyon.  His friend Kevin Cross joined him on Wednesday. Cross frequents the area a few times a week. 

    The more times you take to the trails at Sabino Canyon, the more likely you are to come across wildlife. "I'm out here every day," said Ben Markwart, who was running through the area on Wednesday. Markwart isn't a stranger to Sabino Canyon. 

  • Cars owners dealing with melted cars from construction fire

    Cars owners dealing with melted cars from construction fire

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 9:41 PM EDT2018-06-21 01:41:52 GMT

    The fire was so hot and bright it lit up the morning sky. That is what one student saw across the street from the construction site fire from yesterday. Danny lives at the University Vista apartments. He’s a grad student at the U of A. He saw the fire and raced to get his car. It was too late, the fire was so hot and dangerous that he was not able to get it. His car was one of a dozen cars that had damage from the fire. He tells us, the back bumper a...

    The fire was so hot and bright it lit up the morning sky. That is what one student saw across the street from the construction site fire from yesterday. Danny lives at the University Vista apartments. He’s a grad student at the U of A. He saw the fire and raced to get his car. It was too late, the fire was so hot

  • Family Finder: Nehimiah waiting for family with big heart

    Family Finder: Nehimiah waiting for family with big heart

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 4:30 PM EDT2018-06-20 20:30:24 GMT
    (Source: Arizona's Children Association)(Source: Arizona's Children Association)
    (Source: Arizona's Children Association)(Source: Arizona's Children Association)

    Nehimiah has been lucky enough to be placed with a great foster family but he is need of a permanent home. He loves to be cuddled and loves listening to music.

    Nehimiah has been lucky enough to be placed with a great foster family but he is need of a permanent home. He loves to be cuddled and loves listening to music.

Powered by Frankly