Healthbeat

Study: TV ads for cholesterol drugs may be too convincing

Friday, March 08, 2013

Television ads, which can be so effective for cholesterol lowering statin drugs, may lead to over diagnosis and over treatment.

A new study in the Journal of Internal Medicine finds patients who ask about statins advertised on TV often end up getting prescriptions for the drugs.

Adults who had seen the statin ads were 16 to 20-percent more likely to be diagnosed with high cholesterol and more likely to be using statins, the study found.

The association between the ads for statins and being prescribed statins was driven almost entirely by people at low risk for heart disease.

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