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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

New guidelines urge more use of cholesterol drugs

A long-awaited update to cholesterol treatment recommendations was issued Tuesday, and it could lead to a doubling of the number of Americans taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs from 36 million to 72 million -- about 30 percent of US adults.

The new treatment guideline lowers the threshold for those deemed to be at significant risk for having a heart attack or stroke and encourages doctors to treat these patients with statins to prevent cardiovascular disease -- even if their cholesterol levels are not elevated.

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