By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the most widely prescribed and effective drugs in the war against heart disease is about to become even more popular, because of new recommendations by the nation’s cardiologists.

It is estimated that one in four deaths in the United States or about 600,000 people per year have heart disease as a cause. A quarter of Americans over the age of 45 already take drugs called statins, drugs like Zocor and Lipitor to treat high cholesterol.

But according to new information from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, the number could go up.

What these groups are recommending is that we now take a serious look not just at the LDL or bad cholesterol, but other issues. Things such as weight, blood pressure, age, if people smoke or have diabetes.

What they’re trying to do is get a global look at people and see if there are great risk for heart disease or stroke, and to then try to treat them early.

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