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Huh? 87 Percent of Men Age 60-Plus Should Take a Statin?

If statin guidelines released last fall were followed to the letter, nearly all men between ages 60 and 75 would be taking a cholesterol-lowering drug even if they didn’t have heart disease, according to a new study that analyzed the impact of the controversial recommendations.

The Duke University-led study projected that following the guidelines would result in nearly 13 million more Americans taking statins, most of them 60-plus. Among adults 60 to 75 without heart disease and not on statins, 87 percent of men (up from 30 percent now) and 54 percent of women (up from 21 percent now) would be candidates for the daily drugs, the analysis found.

“The changes for both men and women in the older age groups were huge compared to those between the ages of 40 and 60,” lead author Michael J. Pencina, director of biostatistics at the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., said in a statement.

The study was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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