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The Boston Globe


Panel recommends wider use of cholesterol drugs

The number of Americans taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease could double under treatment recommendations issued Tuesday — to an estimated 72 million people, or about 30 percent of US adults.

The long-awaited update to the cholesterol 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 — even if their cholesterol levels are not elevated.

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