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Today's Top Medical Stories - May 17, 2012

There's more research supporting a certain kind of drug therapy that could help those with cardiovascular disease, and some doctors are recommending their patients stay away from "Z-pack." 

There's more research supporting a certain kind of drug therapy that could help those with cardiovascular disease, and some doctors are recommending their patients stay away from "Z-pack."

A new study questions whether raising a person's good cholesterol reduces the risk of a heart attack.

Researchers in Massachusetts studied the genes of 170,000 people and could not find a connection that raising good cholesterol, or HDL, leads to a decreased risk of heart disease.

Scientists say more research is needed into what role HDL may play in heart problems. There's new evidence that statin drug therapy can benefit people without a history of cardio-vascular disease.

Researchers in London say the cholesterol fighting drugs can reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attacks and strokes. Doctors say their findings confirm that the benefits of widespread statin use outweigh the side effects.

And researchers have discovered a potential risk associated with the common anti-biotic known as Z-pack. A study at VanderbiltUniversity found people who took the drug had a two and half percent higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease in the first five days. 

Doctors say patients with an elevated risk of heart disease may want to consider using a different antibiotic.

(Randall Pinkston - CBS News)

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