Medical Update - November 4, 2004

Thursday, November 4th 2004, 9:48 am
By: News On 6

We're learning grapefruits and cholesterol drugs don't mix. And doctors say neither do cigarettes and caffeine.

News on 6 anchor LeAnne Taylor has details in this Medical Update.

If you're a coffee drinker and a smoker, you could be putting an extra strain on your arteries. Researchers found in young healthy adults, those who smoke and drank caffeine regularly, temporarily increased the stiffness in their aorta- the main artery carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

Health officials in Britain are warning some cholesterol pills and grapefruit don't mix. British regulators say drugs like Zocor and Lipitor taken at the same time as grapefruit juice can increase the risk of potentially life threatening muscle toxicity.

A new report shows cholesterol-lowering drugs also known as statins, seem beneficial during a heart attack. Investigators found patients suffering a heart attack may not fare as well if their cholesterol lowering therapy is stopped in the first 24 hours.

The report says patients should continue statin therapy during hospitalization for a heart attack unless there is a clear reason not too.