A woman, 31, went to her doctor for a routine checkup in May. Her lab report showed cholesterol levels outside the normal range (LDL: 117 milligrams per decilitre of blood (mg/dL); TG: 255 mg/dL; HDL: 37 mg/dL). She smokes around five cigarettes a day. Her doctor prescribed her a statin, a drug that acts to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, for six months. After that, they would retest her blood.
A statin a day
Matters of the heart: India’s statin problem
Some doctors are proposing rejigging thresholds that could medicate low-risk patients and create a market for an expensive drug approved in July
Indians are twice as likely as Europeans to get heart disease. And a decade earlier, too. Scientists don’t know why
To reduce their risk, some doctors say Indians should be treated aggressively with cholesterol-lowering drugs
Their viewpoints align with those of the pharmaceutical industry, which earned Rs 2,625 crore from statin sales last year
The industry sponsors doctors who educate peers on the need for aggressive cholesterol treatment