Cholesterol drugs at fast-food joints


Reuters
August 13, 2010

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Fast food outlets should hand out free cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to their customers to “neutralize” the heart risks of eating fatty foods like burgers and fries, British scientists suggested on Thursday.

But a few experts say you might want to ask your server to hold the statin at this point.

In a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, scientists from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London calculated that the reduction in heart disease risk offered by a statin could offset the increase in risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.

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“Statins don’t cut out all of the unhealthy effects of a burger and fries. It’s better to avoid fatty food altogether. But we’ve worked out that in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it,” said Dr. Darrel Francis, who led the research team.

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