By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Are we a country that is relying too much on medications to help extend our lifespan or are we not doing a good enough job recommending so-called life extending drugs?

Take for example the statin drugs designed to help bring our cholesterol numbers into a range where they reduce the risk of heart disease. Recent guidelines from the American Heart Association have recommended statins (already one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America) for 12.8 million more US adults.

A new analysis using high-quality federal data estimates that the revamped guidelines will mean that statins will be recommended for half of American adults. Most of this increase (10.4 million) will be in American adults who do not have cardiovascular disease.

Obviously you should talk to your doctor about this but any time half of the adult population is recommended to take a medication, it makes one wonder.