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Monday, November 18, 2013

Doctors Identify Problems With New ‘Cholesterol Calculator’

The drug Lipitor. (AP)

The drug Lipitor. (AP)

Today’s New York Times reports that two Boston-based cardiologists have spotted flaws in the online calculator for assessing who should be treated with cholesterol-reducing statin drugs. The Times also reports that doctors’ concerns about the calculator were not relayed to the task force writing the guidelines.

The calculator was unveiled last week as part of a new set of guidelines for who should take statins, which would result in twice as many Americans taking the cholesterol-reducing drugs.

Cardiologist Steven Nissen told Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti last week that no calculator is perfect, but he agreed with the new guidelines, which identify people who should take statins based not just on cholesterol levels, but also on risk levels.


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