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Women & Statins: Do You Really Need Them?

From the Show: HER
Summary: The reality of women on statins may be far less pretty than the pictures painted in advertisements.
Air Date: 5/29/14
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Barbara H. Roberts, MD, FACC
barbara robertsBarbara Roberts received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College and her medical degree from Case-Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

After a medical internship at University Hospitals in Cleveland she completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospitals. She then served for two years as a Staff Associate at the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

She did her post-doctoral cardiology fellowship at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a teaching hospital of Harvard University. After two years as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine, she moved to Rhode Island where she has been on the clinical faculty at Brown University's Alpert School of Medicine since 1977, currently holding the rank of Associate Clinical Professor.

Since 2002 she has been the Director of the Women's Cardiac Center at The Miriam Hospital.
Women & Statins: Do You Really Need Them?
The reality of women taking statins may be far less pretty than the pictures painted in the advertisements you see.

Statins are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. Your liver produces about 70 percent of total cholesterol in your body.

With the research that has been conducted in just under 10,000 women, there is ZERO evidence that a woman's risk of heart attack, heart disease or stroke are lowered by statins when you compare the results to women on a placebo.

These women were also healthy, but at a high risk for heart problems.

So what's with all of the hype? Given these results, if you or someone you love either takes a statin or is considering doing so, should she think again?

Correct.

The real answer to maintaining cardiovascular well-being?

FORGET THE MEDS.

Research has shown that a plant-based, Mediterranean diet lowers your risk for vascular disease just as much as any statin (if not more). This is true whether you are a man or a woman

Dr. Barbara H. Roberts, director of the Women's Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island, discusses both the benefits and health risks of these popular drugs and the questionable science behind the research studies.
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