The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have released new cholesterol guidelines. These guidelines have been highly anticipated by us all here at Health Essentials. These guidelines have the backing of the of additional professional societies, including the American Diabetes Association, so the majority of GPs are very likely to follow them.
It all starts with a healthy lifestyle
A healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended for people of all ages being the foundation to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and high cholesterol.
If there is plaque in the arteries (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease), the new guidelines recommend that high-intensity statin therapy or maximally tolerated statin therapy should be used, in addition to lifestyle modification, to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). This is highly recommended to patients with a history of prior cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.
Cholesterol targets are back
LDL-C targets have been reintroduced into the guidelines. For people diagnosed with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACD), who are a high risk of cardiac complications, drug therapy beyond statins is recommended to achieve a target of LDL-C of 70 mg/dl.
People aged between 40 – 75 years of age with diabetes who have an LDL-C greater than or equal to 70 mg/dL, Reducing their ‘bad cholesterol’ is a must.
In fact, people in the medical profession say that these guidelines are not aggressive enough in terms of wanting lower cholesterol targets in very high-risk patients. If you have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, a very high cholesterol level, or diabetes, then, in addition to a healthy lifestyle, you really ought to be taking something to help tackle your cholesterol.
What about healthy people with slightly elevated cholesterol levels?
Maybe you are not in the high-risk categories but in a grey area, so things get a bit more nuanced. There really needs to be a discussion with your GP as second-guessing isn’t an option.
Whether there are other cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and the actual LDL-C level. Another factor to consider is a family history of premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Other blood test abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or a marker of inflammation such as an elevation of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels, might also be an indication that you need to do more than just change your lifestyle. Another recommendation in the new guidelines is for the potential use of coronary artery calcium (CAC) scans that can decide whether or not to initiate statin therapy in special cases where the risk factors are unclear.
It’s always best to seek the advice of GP regarding your cholesterol and getting your cholesterol count checked is very important. Then you can discuss with your GP about whether you should be on medication to lower your cholesterol or whether lifestyle changes are enough.
But you can be proactive right now by ordering a tub of Cholesterol Essentials.
Cholesterol Essentials is a scientific blend that supports heart function, blood pressure, maintains healthy levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and prevent the absorption of ‘bad’ cholesterol.
You can read more about the amazing benefits of Cholesterol Essentials here.