A new online risk calculator designed to assess which patients should take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs has serious flaws and significantly overestimates a patient's risk of heart attack and stroke, Harvard professors Dr. Paul Ridker and Dr. Nancy Cook said. This flaw could mistakenly increase by millions the number of Americans who should receive statins, they said. Officials of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology defended the tool, saying Ridker and Cook's analysis of the calculator was based on three studies whose participants were in better health and younger than average.

Related Summaries