So, as of December 18, I'm taking a very low 2.5mg dose of lisinopril, an ace-inhibitor that relaxes the blood vessels. So far, so good.
Scant clinical evidence exists to support the notion that otherwise-healthy seniors 70+ should take statins. And statin use has been linked to a variety of issues, including muscle aches, liver toxicity, gastrointestinal distress, impaired memory, diabetes, and cancer.
But, in spite of evidence linking statins with worrisome health issues, there's also evidence that taking statins has positive results. The December 2014 issue of the Harvard Health Letter reports on a recent study involving over 24,000 patients. The conclusion? People taking statins had a 39 percent lower risk of stroke than those not on the drugs. Compared to study participants taking placebos, the stroke risk for people on statins was 24 percent lower.
A consensus may be emerging on the statin issue for healthy seniors -- prescribe these meds on a case-by-case basis. One test being touted to help doctors make their recommendations is the Framingham heart study score , which assesses death-by-heart-attack risk within the next ten years.
Here's a possible guideline that's been suggested for use in the new case-by-case approach. According to the Harvard letter, statins are appropriate only for people whose heart attack or stroke risk within ten years is 7.5 percent above the mean.
For more on this debate and background on my decision to ditch the statins, see http://bit.ly/1wqeKd1