Dr. Murray Feingold: Will fast-food restaurants start serving statin?

Dr. Murray Feingold

A novel way to help prevent a heart attack was recently discussed in an article published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

It is a well established fact that eating a low-fat diet helps lower the risk of having a heart attack.

People have been aware of this for years, but unfortunately they continue to make poor food choices.

The presence of so many fast-food outlets has not helped this situation. They are everywhere and appeal to children, people in a hurry, and others.

However, many of the goodies that they serve, hamburgers and french fries for example, contain lots of fat and are high in calories.

The authors of the article have come up with an idea how to neutralize or negate the increase risk of a heart attack after eating these foods.

They suggest that fast food outlets supply statin drugs such as Zocor or Lipitor, free of charge, to their customers. This would help negate the deleterious effects that a fatty meal would have on the heart.

At the present time, a prescription is necessary for almost all statin drugs. The researchers believe that certain statin medications should be made available without a prescription.

Also, the cost of most of these medications has significantly decreased and the authors don't believe that it would be too costly to provide them at no cost.

There are side effects to statin medications including liver, kidney, and muscle diseases. However, the researchers believe that these risks are small compared to their benefits.

They recommend that studies be done to determine the risks involved in people taking statin medications without medical supervision.

It is stressed that taking these medications is not a good substitute for eating a healthy diet.

But if you can't do without your burger and fries, someday when you order them, you might be able to ask them to "Hold the mayo and add a statin."

But this approach needn't to apply to only to fast-food restaurants.

When dining at your favorite family restaurant, someday you might be ordering your filet mignon "medium rare with a side of statins."

However, more research is needed before I would recommend such an approach.

Massachusetts-based Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of The Feingold Center for Children, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio, and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.