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Coming Soon: An LDL-Lowering Drug with Few Side Effects

Bempedoic acid may be an alternative for patients who can’t take statins. By Holly Strawbridge Any day now the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is likely to approve a novel cholesterol-lowering agent called bempedoic acid. It is as effective as statins in reducing LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation associated with […]
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There’s a Type of Cholesterol as Dangerous as LDL

Fortunately, the first drug to treat it is in the pipeline. By Holly Strawbridge Do you know how much lipoprotein(a) is in your blood? This form of cholesterol, widely known as Lp(a) and pronounced “L, P, little a,” is a bad actor that greatly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Yet the public […]
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Do Statins Give You Achy Muscles?

If symptoms caused you to stop taking these beneficial drugs, try these tips for preventing or minimizing side effects. By Holly Strawbridge Evidence that cholesterol-lowering statins prevent heart attacks and strokes is so compelling that these medications are a “must” for anyone with cardiovascular disease or its risk factors. But statins can sometimes cause symptoms […]
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Should You Worry About Potassium?

If you have heart or kidney disease, you may need to take extra measures to maintain normal levels of this important mineral. By Holly Strawbridge Do you remember what you learned about potassium in science class? You were taught it’s a soft metal, a mineral and one of the most abundant elements on earth. But […]
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Low LDL Levels Do Not Cause Hemorrhagic Stroke

PCSK9 inhibitors are so powerful that 10% of participants achieved LDL levels less than 20 mg/dL; 31% saw their LDL levels drop to 20 to 50 mg/dL. No safety concerns were seen in patients with these low LDL levels, and the rate of side effects was the same in the treatment and placebo groups. As expected, the number of cardiovascular events dropped as LDL levelsplummeted.
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What “Mild Heart Attack” Means

Nevertheless, it may take several hours to determine whether a heart attack has occurred and what kind of treatment is needed. When someone is unsure what their symptoms mean, the thought of spending several hours in the emergency department may deter them from seeking care. Dr. Campbell emphasizes that it's wiser to err on the safe side.
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Download The Full November 2019 Issue PDF

Its almost Thanksgiving, the iconic American holiday centered on food. The mere mention of Thanksgiving conjures up images of a juicy turkey with all its trimmings and a table full of pies.
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Should You Do Strength Training?

"There's no reason why a heart patient without contradictions to strength training shouldn't do both," says Erik Van Iterson, PhD, Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic. "Strength training improves musculoskeletal health, which helps slow the loss of bone and muscle associated with aging. Aerobic exercise strengthens the lungs, heart and body-wide circulation. You will benefit from a global approach to cardiovascular health and fitness by doing both."
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Download The Full October 2019 Issue PDF

Millions of people have no problems with the generic drugs they take. But a growing number of disturbing patient experiences and drug recalls have made it clear that some generics are not being manufactured according to the high standards set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
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Generic Drugs: Are You Sure the Ones You Take Are Safe and Effective?

In 1984, the U.S. enacted a law that allows generic companies to win FDA approval with limited tests proving their drugs are bioequivalent to the brand-name drug and perform similarly. It may not have exactly the same chemical composition, but it must act the same way in the body and produce the same results. It also must be made in the same format: pill, capsule or liquid. This is why, in theory, generics are considered equivalent to their brand-name counterparts.
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In The News; October 2019

Blood pressure (BP) is measured when the heart is contracting (systolic BP, the first number) and when the heart is resting (diastolic BP, the second number). Ever since the Framingham Heart Study identified that high systolic BP was a stronger predictor of cardiovascular outcomes than high diastolic BP, physicians have focused on lowering high systolic pressures. After the definition of hypertension was lowered from 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) to 130/80 mmHg in 2017-a controversial move-guidelines continued to emphasize treating the higher number. But a study involving more than 1.3 million outpatients published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 18, 2019, may change this practice. In this study, researchers showed that having either high systolic or high diastolic high BP, or both, increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. Additionally, the negative influence of blood pressure on cardiovascular outcomes was seen at 130/80 mmHg, validating the lower threshold for hypertension.
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Eating to Prevent Diabetes

The good news is that diabetes is not inevitable. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) found that making lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. People who lost 7% to 10% of their body weight and exercised a minimum of 150 minutes per week decreased their risk of developing diabetes by 58% to 90%.
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