Sadly, this used to be all too common an outlook. Some doctors thought than everyone over 65 ought to be on statins “for good measure.”

For years, we prescribed statins such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) almost solely based on a target cholesterol level. We would adjust a patient’s medication until we reached a specific number.

In 2013, a joint task force of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released guidelines for treating cholesterol. These guidelines focused on treating the patient based on his or her risk of developing heart disease, not a target number.”

But if I didn’t know that, she would have never thought to ask her doctor to take her off of them and would have accepted his first “no” when she asked to stop them, despite suffering from so many side effects.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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