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Good news on statins outweighs negative news about aspirin

May 25, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

"There are always two sides to every story" is a famous saying that American philosopher-theologian Jonathan Edwards coined in his 1738 sermon "Charity & Its Fruits." Recent news about the lack of effectiveness of aspirin in preventing "major cardiovascular events" for folks with a specific risk factor called non-obstructive coronary artery disease (they have plaque build-up, but it is causing less than a 50% narrowing of the coronary arteries) completely misses the other side of that story. Statins do a really good job of it!

A study in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging looked a 6,300 folks around age 56 for just under six years and found that aspirin didn't prevent heart attacks or stroke for those with that form of coronary artery disease -- but statins did lower their risk by over 40%. Among the control group with no CAD, taking aspirin or statins didn't affect their risk for heart attack or stroke at all.

If you've been diagnosed with non-obstructive CAD, taking a statin can be lifesaving. They cause muscle-related side effects in just 1% or fewer of treated patients (when accurately reported). Plus, you'll gain additional benefits: Statins help improve oral health, by reducing the risk of chronic periodontitis and preventing bone loss; they help prevent cancers, such as early stage breast and colorectal cancer, multiple myeloma, and liver and oral cancers; and may even soothe autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. So if you have non-obstructive CAD, keep taking your statin or talk to your doctor about starting one.

Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers.

King Features Syndicate

Print Headline: Good news on statins outweighs negative news about aspirin

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