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Steven Nissen, MD

Show 851: Understanding Statins

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Statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs are extremely popular, with approximately 180 million prescriptions issued each year in the U.S. They lower cholesterol and thereby are supposed to lower the risk of heart attacks.

Recent warnings from the FDA on side effects such as memory loss or diabetes underscore the fact that these drugs do have some risks, however. There has been controversy among cardiologists regarding how widely these drugs should be used and who benefits most from taking them. Listen as the leading experts explain the pros and cons of statins.


Steven Nissen, MD, is the Chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He was previously Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Coordinating Center, an academic research organization. Dr. Nissen consults for many pharmaceutical companies on the development of new therapies for cardiovascular disease, but maintains his longstanding personal policy of requiring companies to donate all related honoraria directly to charity. His book is Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health YouÕll Ever Need.

Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She leads the UCSD Statin Effects Study.

Lisa Gill is prescription drug editor for Consumer Reports.

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