What You Need To Know About Cholesterol
North American Precis Syndicate
It’s a healthy idea to be your own advocate when it comes to managing your cholesterol levels. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—New cholesterol guidelines from the American Heart
Association emphasize a personalized approach to preventing and treating high
cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
What Cholesterol Is
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body makes to build cells. Too
much can pose a problem. Extra cholesterol comes from foods including meat,
poultry, dairy and tropical oils.
Why Cholesterol Matters
Cholesterol can slowly build up in your arteries and form a thick, hard
deposit that narrows them and makes them less flexible. If a blood clot
blocks a narrowed artery, a heart attack or stroke can result.
What To Do
Ask your doctor such questions as:
Q. What do cholesterol numbers
A. Studies suggest optimal
cholesterol levels are about 150 mg/dL and about
100 mg/dL for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
(LDL-C). Levels in this range are linked to lower rates of heart disease and
There’s no ideal target for LDL-C but “lower is better.”
Assessment with a risk calculator helps your doctor determine your personal
risk and treatment options. A coronary artery calcium test may also help with
Q. How can I lower my risk for
A. A healthy lifestyle is
critical. Also, while statins are still the first
choice of medication for lowering cholesterol, new drugs are available for
people who have had a heart attack or stroke and are at risk for another.
Your doctor will monitor your progress.
Q. How do I know if my medicine is
A. It may take a few tries to
find the right medicine and dose.
“Finding the sweet spot for treatment is highly individualized,”
said Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., a member of the cholesterol guideline writing
committee and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern
University in Chicago. “The latest guidelines strongly encourage
patient and doctor to have detailed and personalized discussions about
Ask your doctor about medicines, foods—such as grapefruit or
pomegranate—or supplements that may interact with your
Q. When and how often should I
A. Have a follow-up visit one
to three months after starting cholesterol-lowering medication to check that
it’s working, that you’re taking it properly, and to monitor for
The American Heart Association’s Check.Change.Control.Cholesterol
initiative, supported by Sanofi and Regeneron, has information and resources for managing
cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors. Visit www.heart.org/cholesterol for
further facts, and www.heart.org/MyCholesterolGuide
to download the free guide.
“New cholesterol guidelines from
the American Heart Association emphasize a personalized approach to
preventing and treating high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)