Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital September 23, 2014
September is Cholesterol Education Month, a good time to learn more about this important measure of your heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71 million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one-third of them have the condition under control. The good news is that changes in lifestyle, medications, or a combination of both may help you get your cholesterol back to healthy levels. Your physician can work with you to find the right combination of treatments.
The amount of cholesterol in your blood has a lot to do with your chances of getting cardiovascular disease (CVD). High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for CVD. In fact, the higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk of developing CVD or having a heart attack. Learn what your numbers mean.
Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones and to keep your cells healthy. Cholesterol comes from two sources: your liver and your diet. However, if your diet exceeds the body’s need for cholesterol or saturated fats, your cholesterol level in your blood will increase. Watch a video to understand treatments and lifestyle changes that are prescribed by your doctor.
Even if you’re living a healthy lifestyle, you need to pay attention to your cholesterol levels. David Wang was a healthy eater and a regular at the gym. David also had high cholesterol, which, left unaddressed, led to serious consequences. During a business trip, David started experiencing classic heart attack symptoms.
New prevention guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recommend that moderate- to high-intensity statins should be the first line of therapy for patients at highest risk of heart disease. Yet a new research study led by physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital finds that differences exist in the treatment patterns and outcomes between men and women presenting with heart disease.– Jamie R.