Sunday, March 28, 2010

Framingham Risk

This is the starting point for anyone considering cholesterol lowering medications. It gives us the 10 year risk of having a heart attack. When the risk is in the single digits, usually you can stop thinking about cholesterol lowering drugs.

I've had family members placed on cholesterol lowering drugs or combinations of cholesterol lowering drugs inappropriately. We live in a medical culture that encourages "doing something". But the evidence of harms usually outweighs the evidence of benefit in the general, healthy , symptom-free population. We have to be very careful when doing things to the symptom free , general population. We have to have solid proof of benefit > harm before we start doing tests, procedures and prescribing preventive pharmaceuticals to healthy people.

Otherwise we will continue to do more harm than good.

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