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Statin Drug Warnings — This Week on Sound Medicine

March 15, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- Krannert Institute of Cardiology heart specialist Douglas Zipes discusses recent Food and Drug Administration warnings about blood sugar risks for some patients taking statin drugs.

Sound Medicine airs at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 18, on WFYI, 90.1 FM. For the airtime on a public radio station near you, check the Sound Medicine website

FDA warning for statins. The FDA recently issued warnings for statin medications, including well-known drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor. Physicians prescribe the medications as preventive measures against heart attack and stroke, but they may also raise blood sugar levels in some patients, increasing their diabetes risk. Douglas Zipes, M.D., of the Krannert Institute of Cardiology discusses how these finding will affect doctors’ recommendations. Dr. Zipes is professor emeritus of medicine, pharmacology and toxicology at the IU School of Medicine.

Tanning bed addicts. Spring is high season for tanning parlors. But many people like to tan year-round. A new study in the journal Addiction Biology looked at brain activity during tanning and found that tanning may be addictive.  Dermatologist Lawrence A. Mark, M.D., Ph.D., discusses the study and its findings with Sound Medicine’s Kathy Miller, M.D. Dr. Mark is assistant professor of dermatology at the IU School of Medicine; he has a practice with IU Health Physicians.

Breakthrough gene therapy treats hemophilia B. Hemophilia is a genetic disorder in which the patient’s blood lacks the all-important clotting factor. Physician and hemophilia researcher Katherine A. High, M.D., chats with Sound Medicine’s David Crabb, M.D., about the encouraging results of a recent study that injected patients with the correct form of the defective gene. It may be the first instance of gene therapy successfully used to treat a well-known disease. Dr. High is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and she practices at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Why do we love fatty foods? According to recent research, it’s in our genes. Washington University investigator Yanina Pepino, Ph.D., discusses her discovery that people whose bodies produce more of a specific protein can more easily detect the presence of fat on their tongues. Dr. Pepino is an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University. She was lead author on the study recently published in The Journal of Lipid Research.

Doc chat: teaching patients to eat well. IU School of Medicine family physician and regular Sound Medicine contributor Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber shares tips she uses for educating patients to be more mindful about what they and their families eat. Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber practices at Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis. She also is executive director of the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

Also this week: In the Sound Medicine Checkup, Jeremy Shere explores research that shows people who “trust their gut” can predict event outcomes better than others. And in the Did You Know? feature, learn the health benefits of drinking black tea.

Sound Medicine is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM). Sound Medicine is underwritten by Indiana University Health Physicians and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
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