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B. Hospitals Under Prescribe Life-saving Cholesterol Lowering Drugs

Narrator: This is Science Today. If you or a loved one recently suffered from a heart attack, chances are the doctor did not prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs upon leaving the hospital. A nationwide UCLA study, led by Dr. Gregg Fonarow, has found that less than half of heart attack survivors receive lipid-lowering drugs, despite studies demonstrating these medications significantly lower mortality rates in high-risk patients.

Fonarow: Part of it is that traditionally, the view was - we need to have a sort of period for patients to sort of get over their acute event and that you have time to actually initiate therapy.

Narrator: Another reason for the low usage is a simple lack of communication between the hospital and the patient's primary care physician.

Fonarow: I think for patients or family members that have had heart attacks, that it's really essential to make sure that lipid-lowering therapies have been initiated and if not, ask the physician why not.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.