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Cholesterol Nation24:50
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photoNew recommendations from the National Cholesterol Education Program have lowered the acceptable level of cholesterol for patients at moderate risk of developing heart disease. The new guidelines, endorsed by the American Heart Association, The American College of Cardiology and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, call for significantly increasing the number of Americans who use cholesterol lowering drugs.

The guidelines set just two and half years ago suggested that roughly 36 million Americans should be using the drugs known as Statins. But some medical researchers worry that an overreliance on the drugs may have an adverse effect on patients that are not in dire need of them.

Click one of the "Listen" links to hear about the new challenges on lowering cholesterol levels, and the effects on American life and health in the age of Statins.

Guests:

Dr. Scott Grundy, Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, and lead author of new recommendations on cholesterol levels

Dr. Charles Blatt, cardiologist at the Lown Cardiovascular Center, and Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr. John Abramson, clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, former Robert Wood Johnson fellow.

This program aired on July 14, 2004.

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