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Statin Use for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults

cardiovascular disease is the leading

cause of illness and death in the United

States

statins help prevent cardiovascular

disease

in patients who have already had an

event but their use in patients who have

never had but are at risk for

cardiovascular disease remains

controversial

now the United States Preventive

Services Task Force an independent

volunteer panel of national experts in

prevention and evidence-based medicine

recommends that adults without a history

of cardiovascular disease use a low to

moderate dose statin for primary

prevention of cardiovascular disease

events and mortality

if they're between 40 and 75 years old

have one or more cardiovascular disease

risk factors

and if they have a calculated 10-year

risk of a cardiovascular event of

greater than or equal to ten percent the

Task Force says that physicians can

offer patients the option of using a low

or moderate dose statin if they have the

same risk factors but with a calculated

10-year risk of a cardiovascular event

of seven and a half to ten percent

finally they conclude that evidence is

not yet sufficient to assess the

benefits and harms of starting statins

for primary prevention of cardiovascular

disease events and mortality in adults

age seventy six years and older the

taskforce acknowledges that estimating

ten-year cardiovascular risk isn't so

straightforward the pooled cohort

equations from the 2013 accha guidelines

on assessment of cardiovascular risk is

the best currently available risk

estimation tool they say but it may

overestimate risk in some patients for

unclear reasons so they emphasize that

the risk estimate should be the start of

a conversation between doctors and

patients about their risk of a

cardiovascular event relative to the

risks and benefits of starting statins

and the patient's desires to begin

lifelong statin therapy

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