Cardiologists debate safety of statin recommendations for women

Broad new guidelines might double the number of Americans prescribed statins each year, but the drugs' effects on women have not been well studied, and for some the medicine might cause more harm than good, some cardiologists say. "If you're going to tell a healthy person to take a medicine every day for the rest of their life, you should have really good data that it's going to make them better off," said cardiologist Rita Redberg, the editor of JAMA Internal Medicine. Other doctors, including C. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, say taking statins on a prophylactic basis makes sense.

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