Muscle And Joint Problems
Some Lipitor patients report various types of muscle injuries after taking the drug. Although the likelihood of muscle disease is minimal with statins alone, researchers determined the risk is substantially elevated among patients who take statins at the same time as other medications such as certain antibiotics, antifungals and treatments for HIV and hepatitis C.
Lipitor can cause serious muscle problems that can lead to kidney problems, including kidney failure, according to the drug label. You have a higher chance for muscle problems if you are taking certain other medicines with Lipitor.
How Does Heart Disease Affect Men
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, killing 357,761 men in 2019thats about 1 in every 4 male deaths.1
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian American or Pacific Islander men, heart disease is second only to cancer.2
- About 1 in 13 white men and 1 in 14 black men have coronary heart disease. About 1 in 17 Hispanic men have coronary heart disease.3
- Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.4 Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.
Straight Talk About Statins
Tens of millions of Americans take a statin widely considered the gold standard for treating high cholesterol along with heart-healthy choices like eating right and getting regular exercise.
Beyond helping to lower cholesterol, statins can also help prevent heart attacks and stroke two leading causes of disability and death.
Yet, even though statins are one of the most prescribed medications, they are often misunderstood. Our experts help clear up some common misperceptions about their use.
- Last Edited 08/26/2021
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Can Coffee Cause Irregular Heartbeat
Before, most researchers and doctors link heart diseases with caffeine often, and it might be true in some cases. But time has changed, and new studies have debunked this old assumption. Coffee contains caffeine which stimulates your body system and creates alertness. Its job is to wake you up and sure enough, it does the trick.
Whether coffee can cause irregular heartbeat or not, researchers have yet to find out. As for heart palpitations, it might be caffeine or some other coffee substance, or it can also be just stress You never know!
What Are The Benefits Of Statins
Statins inhibit the action of an enzyme thats responsible for cholesterol production in your liver. In the process, they significantly reduce LDL and total cholesterol, while also having beneficial effects on HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation. Some evidence suggests that high-intensity statin therapy may help to slow, and potentially reverse, the growth of artery-clogging atherosclerotic plaques. They may also make them less prone to rupture and cause heart attacks and strokes.
There are good data to suggest that the more LDL lowering we can achieve, the lower the risk of adverse cardiac events such as strokes and heart attacks, Dr. Laffin explains.
Although statins all belong to the same drug class, they differ in how potent they are and how much they can lower LDL cholesterol.
Your doctor will use a tool like the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association risk calculator and other factors to gauge your long-term risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, determine if you need statin therapy, and if so, which one.
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What Can Cause Heart Palpitations
Its not uncommon for people to get palpitations during vigorous exercise, explains Martin. Or when theyre feeling anxious or stressed.
Other triggers might include alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, certain medications and recreational drugs.
In addition, palpitations in women might be caused by hormonal fluctuations experienced during periods, pregnancy or during menopause. Some medications, including the asthma inhaler salbutamol, can also lead to palpitations, especially if you take a large amount.
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Some People Experience Muscle Aches Or Muscle Cramps But Trying These Tips May Help
About 10% to 20% of inidividuals who take statins report that they experience muscle pain or muscle cramps. Image: rogerashford/Thinkstock
Statins, such as atorvastatin , simvastatin , rosuvastatin , and lovastatin , are commonly prescribed medications that lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.
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Statins: Negative Expectations May Cause Side Effects
In a phenomenon known as the nocebo effect, expecting to have negative effects of a medication actually causes those symptoms. Now, a study has found that this effect may account for up to 90% of the symptom severity elicited by statins.
For a person at high risk of cardiovascular disease, taking a statin reduces the chances of having a heart attack or stroke by lowering the amount of cholesterol in their blood.
Researchers estimate that almost 30% of people over 40 in the United States take a statin.
Most people tolerate these drugs well, but many stop taking them after reporting side effects such as muscle aches, fatigue, and joint pain.
However, according to a 2014 review of clinical trials that compared statins with a placebo, or dummy pill only a small proportion of the reported symptoms were actually caused by the drugs.
Some symptoms, such as aches and pains, may result from normal aging, the nocebo effect, or an interaction between the two.
Most people are familiar with the way that positive expectations about a treatment can improve its outcome, known as the placebo effect. Fewer people have heard of the nocebo effect, which is when negative expectations lead to worse outcomes.
controversial . In part, this is due to a public perception that the drugs cause unpleasant side effects.
In theory, these widespread negative expectations could provoke a strong nocebo effect, persuading people who may benefit from statins to stop taking them.
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Statin Withdrawal Hard On The Heart
Discontinuing Statins Can Lead to Rapid Rise in Cholesterol and C-Reactive Protein
March 14, 2006 — Stopping cholesterol-lowering statin drugs after long-term use packs not one, but two potentially deadly punches to the heart.
That’s the bottom line of a new study that shows that people who discontinued taking the drugs experienced rapid rises in both C-reactive protein and LDLcholesterol levels. These data provide support for the acute increase in cardiovascular risk associated with statin discontinuation, they write.
Statins lower not only cholesterol, but also reduce CRP, a marker of harmful inflammation in the arteries that can lead to blood clots, says researcher Folkert Asselbergs, MD, PhD, of the University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands.
“If you’re on a statin, keep on your medication!” he says.
Heart Rate And Rhythm Differences Between Men And Women
Women and men are similar when it comes to the basic heart rate and rhythm. However, while the basic electrical system is the same , there are differences:
- Women tend to have a faster baseline heart rate
- Womens ECG readings may be different
Women Have a Faster Baseline Heart Rate Than Men
First of all, on average, women tend to have a faster baseline heart rate than men. This difference is seen in girls, on an average, as young as five years old. There is also a shorter sinus node refractory time this means that it takes a shorter time for the SA node to recover and become ready to fire an impulse again ¹
Womens ECG Readings may be Different
The ECG is a test used to record on graph paper the electrical activity of the heart. The picture, drawn by a computer from information supplied by electrodes placed on the skin of the chest, arms and legs, shows the timing of the different phases of the heart rhythm.
The p wave represents the electrical activity of the upper chambers of the heart . There is a short pause followed by the QRS complex the electrical activity of the lower chambers and ends with a small T wave, the recovery phase of the ventricles. The QT interval is the distance from the beginning of the QRS to the end of the T wave and represents the time it takes for the heart muscle to contract and then recover, or for the electrical impulse to fire and then recharge.
Certain types of arrhythmias are more prevalent in women than in men.
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Statin Risks And Benefits
Are statins safe? For most people, the answer is a resounding yes, according to a 2014 Johns Hopkins meta-analysis of 20 years worth of published research. It showed that the risks of long-term use of statin drugs are low and the potential benefits are very high. Researchers combed through hundreds of papers that had studied statins since 1994 to determine the evidence of side effects.
Their review, published in British Medical Journal, found an increase in the risk of muscle aches. There was also a modest risk of elevated blood glucose, which can tip some people into developing type 2 diabetes. Whats unclear is whether those people, who also had other risk factors for diabetes, would have developed the condition anyway. Statins dont cause memory loss or cataracts, as has been claimed in the past. For most at-risk patients, the benefits far exceed the risks, the researchers concluded. Of course, if you notice any unusual effects after beginning statin therapy, tell your doctor.
We know a lot about statins because theyve been around for a long time and taken by so many people, Blaha says. The scale clearly tips to benefits in most at-risk patients.
Why did my doctor prescribe statins if my cholesterol is normal?
Levels Of Hscrp Interleukin 6 Superoxide Dismutase And Mda
The mean reductions in serum hsCRP levels were significantly greater in the statin group than in the control group . The difference in the decrease in serum hsCRP levels was 0.11 mg/dL . The difference in the decrease in serum MDA levels was 2.51 nmol/mL . Change in LF/HF ratio correlated with change in serum hsCRP level and MDA level in adjusted analyses between the 2 groups.
When age, sex, body mass index, normal duration of sleeping time, hemoglobin, creatinine, total cholesterol, low/highdensity lipoprotein ratio, hsCRP, MDA and use of statin were considered as explanatory variables and improvement in the LF/HF ratio was set as a dependent variable, administration of statin was consistently identified as a significant determinant for the improvement in LF/HF ratio, using a multivariate regression analysis .
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Clinical And Experimental Evidence
In contrast, there is increasing evidence on possible beneficial effects of statins on the development of VA in patients who suffered an acute myocardial infarction , those who underwent revascularization procedures or in subjects with CAD and ICD implants .
Early statin therapy after an acute myocardial infarction has been suggested to decrease the incidence of various arrhythmias and mostly of VA that are associated with increased rates of post-infarction mortality . Specifically, Fonarow et al. retrospectively demonstrated that early statin administration following an acute myocardial infarction led to a significant decrease in the incidence of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation in a population of 126,128 hospitalized patients. Additionally, there is evidence from an observational study suggesting that early withdrawal of statin therapy after hospital admission due to a non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction was associated with higher rates of post-infarction VA . Both studies proposed a potential protective role of early statin therapy towards the dangerous VA that follow an acute myocardial infarction and are known to increase cardiovascular mortality. This may represent a mechanism by which statins reduce mortality when administered early following an acute coronary syndrome .
Growing Doubt On Statin Drugs The Problem Of Drug
June 16, 2014 By Dr John
My mind is changing about statins. Im growing increasingly worried about the irrational exuberance over these drugs, especially when used for prevention of heart disease that is yet to happen.
An elderly patient called my office last week to tell me thank younot for a successful procedure or surgery, but rather, for helping with a problem that had dogged her for a decade. How did an electrophysiologist help a patient without doing a procedure?
I stopped her statin.
A few weeks later, the patient said, her muscle and joint pain were gone. I thought it was arthritis. Im walking now. I havent felt this good in years. Ive even lost 5 pounds.
So why was this elderly patient on a statin?
It was being used to lower cholesterol in the hopes that it would lower the risk of a future heart attack or stroke. This is called primary prevention. The patient had no vascular disease but had a high cholesterol level.
The problem of course is that statins have not been well-studied in elderly women. Her doctor, and the medical establishment writ large, have extrapolated findings of clinical trials on younger mostly male patients to all patients with high cholesterol levels. This is a striking jump to make given that low cholesterol levels in the elderly associate with higher death rates.
Anecdotes are not evidence but this one moved me to review some of the statin evidence. And to think about treating people versus disease.
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Night Sweats & Dehydration
Weve got night sweats. This can be a big one, especially if you wake up first thing in the morning, and even before you half-opened your eyes, your heart starts to do this fluttering or fastness.
And this very often is due to hydration. If youre getting night sweats or even if youre getting hot flushes in the evening, youre going to bed, and youre going through the night in a state of dehydration. And we know that dehydration is a really big trigger for palpitations.
What About Medications
Statins are the most well-researched medications for lowering cholesterol. They can lower your risk for heart disease if youre already at high risk.
However, there are a few important things to note about statins and cholesterol medications:
While many medications can lower cholesterol levels, only some, such as statins, have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Whether or not you would benefit from a cholesterol medication depends on your overall risk for heart disease. Healthcare providers estimate this risk based on your cholesterol levels as well as other factors mentioned above .
If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, you are at high risk for a second heart attack or stroke. Many people with this risk should be on statins. But talk to your healthcare provider about whether a statin is right for you.
Some other cholesterol-lowering medications that your provider may recommend in addition to statins are listed below.
Your provider may also recommend other medications to help with high cholesterol, such as the following:
Fibrates, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels.
Bile acid sequestrants cause your body to get rid of bile acids. Your liver then uses up cholesterol from your bloodstream to replace the lost acids.
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Know The Risk Factors
The same risk factors that can damage your heart can damage your legs: Diabetes, high levels of bad cholesterol and high blood pressure can all lead to the development of PAD.
If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, be diligent about taking medications. These include statins and cholesterol-lowering medications, which can help prevent blockages and are often an early step in treating PAD.
Another key to preventing PAD: Dont smoke.
Smoking is a principal risk factor for many types of vascular disease, especially PAD, adds Lee. My first advice to patients is, If you smoke, quit.’
Dont Wait For Another Sign: Talk To Your Doctor About Your Heart Disease Symptoms
If youre noticing one or more of these seven symptoms, then the best place to start is by making an appointment with a primary care doctor to have your heart checked out and tested.
Your primary care doctor can diagnose and treat hundreds of conditions. They can help you build your heart wellness by working with you to create a tailored treatment plan. And if specialist help is needed, your doctor can connect you with an expert in cardiology for more testing and treatment.
Theres no doubt that symptoms of heart disease can be concerning, especially if youre not sure whats behind them or what the next steps are. But answers, care and treatment are available to help keep your heart as healthy as it can be so you can live your best life.
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