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New guidelines released for preventing heart attacks and strokes

The nation's first new guidelines in a decade for preventing heart attacks and strokes call for twice as many americans -about one-third of all adults - to consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

What the new guidelines issued by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology mean.

These new guidelines could double the number of people taking cholesterol- lowering statins.

Doctors say instead of aiming for a certain cholesterol number, they will take a broader look at heart risks and the groups for which treatment does the most good. The guidelines are expected to mean more aggressive treatment for women and African Americans who do face higher heart risks. Doctors say that although many more people may qualify for cholesterol-lowering drugs, that those medicines should not be the first choice for treating high cholesterol.

"They really evolved because of a number of clinical trials over the last decade or so that looked at who have benefited from cholestrol-lowering therapy" says Dr. Steven Nissen.

Doctors maintain that by eating healthy, exercising often and controlling your weight; you can help yourself towards better heart health.

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