The newly launched Cardiovascular Risk Calculator, developed by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, is said to be over predicting risk by as much as 75 to 150 percent.

Nearly 36 million Americans are on statin drugs today, and recent publications report that number could double, climbing upwards of 70 million, with the new guidelines.

"Whenever new information comes out, and information requires re-assessment or reprocessing. I think it bares us well to sort of pause and go back to what we know is true," said Dr. Andrew Sumner, Cardiologist with the Lehigh Valley Health Network.

He said those known truths includes the success rate of statin drugs for people at high risk for heart disease.

"Have I had a heart attack or stroke, vascular disease? Is my LDL, bad cholesterol, greater than 190? There are three groups of people that everyone can agree benefits from statin therapy. Statins can be life savers for people with high risk factors," Sumner said.

According to Sumner, the new guidelines look to identify those who's risks are less obvious and less agreed upon.

"What we are trying to determine is who is at moderate to high risk that would benefit for aggressive therapy with a statin," Sumner said.

The new calculator assesses factors like age, sex and race. While most cardiologists would agree those are factors, not all would agree with putting a numerical value on them.

"This calculator may overestimate risk in some patient populations. Some calculators previously underestimated risk in certain patient populations. These are somewhat imprecise tools that can give us some information, pictures into risk," Sumner said.

Cardiologist Andrew Sumner plans to use the new calculator in his practice, but with caution.

"I will probably use more than one calculator as well as other clinical variables that are recommended to help gauge risk when it's not clear," Sumner said.

Sumner said the most influential part of deciding whether to start treatment therapy or not is one-on-one clinical meetings between a doctor and a patient.