TODAY

TODAY   |  November 13, 2013

New guidelines on use of statins released

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have issued the new guidelines on the use of cholesterol-reducing statins that could double the number of Americans already taking the drugs.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> all right, al, thanks. now to a major shift in the way doctors will be treating high cholesterol . the american college of cardiology released new guidelines that could double the number of americans that take cholesterol lowering drugs. they come with four major criteria for doctors and run the risk of type two diabetes. l.d.l. cholesterol above 190, evidence of heart disease , and a patient's 10 year heart attack risk. willie geist is in the orange room to tell us more about it.

>> already this report broke overnight. we're getting a lot of tweets and facebook questions about this. we thought we would take it head on with lori who is the director of preventive cardiology. first of all, 32 million americans already take these. this could double the number. what's the implications of that?

>> that's right. it's important that everybody know that now what we want you to do is not just know your cholesterol number. we want you to know what your risk is. if you're in one of the risk groups that's defined as needing st statons in the knew guideline, you need to know that.

>> are we past good and bad cholesterol ?

>> we're expanding it and we want you to peer into the crystal ball . what's your chance of developing heart disease or stroke. we can calculate that.

>> and you worry about people not exercising anymore and worry about their diet because they can take a pill. does that concern you.

>> that's right. you just brought up the 800 pound gorilla in the room. there's too much of a focus on drugs. we should be asking the questions why are we in the position to begin with to have so many people needing them and falling into these categories. much more emphasis is needed on life style in this country.

>> by the way, she will stick around to answer your questions. # orange room , tweet them to us and post them on today.com and we'll get you answers.

>> anyone wondering what the l.d.l. is of the 800 pound gorilla .

>> don't have to know anymore.