Answer to Health Care Crisis Can Save Lives, Money

June 29, 2009

New White Paper Reveals Power of Statins in Fighting Cardiovascular Disease

WASHINGTON, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The adverse health and financial impact of cardiovascular disease – the number one killer of men and women in America – can be significantly reduced through the well monitored use of statins according to a major white paper release today by the non-profit Senior Center for Health and Security (SCHS).

The white paper, Saving America’s Seniors With Statins: Solving a Health Care Crisis, explores the ramifications of heart disease and stroke in America, and the critical role that cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins can play in addressing it. Along with physician supervised diet and exercise programs, the correct statin for each individual patient can significantly lower the risk of heart disease, help prevent heart attack and stroke, and reduce health care expenditures.

“Meeting your cholesterol goal is a top priority for good heart health,” said SCHS Policy Director Al Cors. “There are many different statin options available and it’s important to talk with your doctor to determine which statin is the right statin to help you reach that goal.”

Studies demonstrate that the six most widely used statins can save lives and lower health care costs, but the white paper notes that statins are not identical to each other prompting SCHS to urge patients, insurers and health care professionals to consider the different pharmacological properties of different statins in concert with differing patient risk factors including age, sex, race, heredity and other unique case considerations.

The SCHS paper notes several clinical studies of different statins in the report. A November 2008 study showed that men and women using one particular statin suffered half as many strokes, heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular causes as those taking a placebo. A different study on a different statin that same month demonstrated an important correlation between improved kidney function and use of that statin. A third study showed that men who took a third variety of statin for five years experienced fewer deaths and heart attacks 10 years later even though most had stopped taking the drug.

Statin use can also result in lower health care costs, according to the white paper. For 2009, the cost of treating stroke and heart disease in the U.S., combined with lost industrial productivity due to disability and death, is estimated at $475 billion. These costs will increase as the population ages and SCHS notes that statin use can play a significant role in controlling these rising costs.

Cors stressed the need for comprehensive communication between patients, doctors and insurance providers, calling it critical to determining the best statin regimen for cardiovascular health. “Costs for brand name medicines and insurance formularies are always changing and the only way to know is through good communications,” Cors concluded. “Many patients don’t know they have affordable access to the most effective medications.”

The full report is available online at http://www.seniorsforcures.org/6-22-09_statins.html

SOURCE Senior Center for Health and Security

Source: newswire

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