US heart doctors defend new prevention guidelines

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 20 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6957
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The American Health Association and the American College of Cardiology have defended their new prevention guidelines after critics charged that a risk assessment tool included in the document might put millions of Americans on cholesterol lowering drugs unnecessarily.

“We stand behind our guidelines [and] the process that was used to create them,” said Mariell Jessup, president of the American Heart Association, in a statement issued in response to the criticism, which has been reported widely in the US media.

At issue is a risk calculator designed to help guide the decision whether a patient should be prescribed a statin, by estimating the patient’s 10 year risk of having a heart attack …

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