More statins on horizon?

New guidelines will change how doctors treat high cholesterol

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have released new guidelines for the treatment of high cholesterol that could double the number of Americans on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

For years, the goal of doctors was to get LDL (or “bad” cholesterol) levels below 100; the new guidelines eliminate that target, as well as the cholesterol-level threshold for treatment, according to

Rather, doctors will ask four questions, a “yes” to any of which will determine whether a patient should begin treatment. The questions are: Do you have heart disease? Do you have diabetes (Type 1 or 2)? Do you have a bad cholesterol level of more than 190? Is your 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 7.5 percent?

For people who don’t fit those criteria, according to the guidelines, lifestyle and behavior management should be enough to avoid high cholesterol.