The article “New Cholesterol Advice Startles Even Some Doctors” talks about the new guidelines released by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, that advise doctors not to prescribe statins or other cholesterol-lowering medications to most people simply based on their cholesterol levels. The guidelines further state that there is no proof that statins reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. No target levels for LDL or bad cholesterol were included in the guidelines released.
Kolata reports that these new guidelines have puzzled and surprised some doctors because they contradict what has long been a standing practice among doctors with regards to controlling cholesterol levels (2013). Moreover, according to Kolata the new guidelines suggest that patients and doctors use a new online risk calculator heart attack or stroke to determine whether there is a need to take a statin (2013). The article also points out that there has been much obsession on checking the cholesterol levels instead of being more concerned about the reduction of the risk of heart attacks. The author mentions the different views held by different doctors on the value of statins and whether maintaining low cholesterol levels is better compared to the high doses of drugs being taken by patients.
The news article discussed above is very relevant to the class. It gives the class a better understanding of the effectiveness of statins which are popular drugs taken by a lot of people. Although the idea presented in the article is still debatable, it will encourage the class to look into other current researches conducted on the use of statins as a cholesterol-lowering drug. The article; however, should be taken with a grain of salt since a number of doctors are still not fully convinced if the new guidelines should indeed be followed. The article chosen is a very good discussion point for the class considering that there are pros and cons on the new guidelines suggested. Whether the new guidelines are to be followed by patients and doctors, the class definitely benefits from the article because of the awareness it creates. It will motivate the students to read on further about the topic. Ultimately, they can intelligently decide which side they will believe.
Kolata, G. (2013, November 13). New cholesterol advice startles even some doctors. Retrieved from nytimes.com: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/health/new-cholesterol-advice-startles-even-some-doctors.html?ref=science