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Cholesterol risk calculator is too risky

December 1, 2013 • Editorial

While the health care system might be a fit topic for newspaper advice, medical care is not.
This was proven yet again when it was widely reported this month that the nation’s leading heart-health organizations had unveiled a “risk calculator” expected to show that tens of millions more people should be taking cholesterol-lowering statin medications.
It’s not as though millions of people aren’t already taking statins. The class of drugs is among the most commonly prescribed. A 2011 study from Harvard Medical School estimated that about 32 million Americans — some 25 percent of the population over age 40 — take them.
The fear-factor calculator was put out by doctors and pharmaceutical companies, among whose goals are to keep raking in more money for Big Pharma. Even skeptical reporters are often not equipped to calculate and counter the information put out by scientists and medical experts. That sort of Login to read more

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