So Are Statins Worth It
It depends on who you are, what your cardiovascular risk is, and the possible benefits.
At a population level, this is something known as the number needed to treat . Or, to put it another way, how many people have to take statins to prevent one heart attack?
For people with a low risk for cardiovascular disease, 217 people would have to take a statin to prevent one non-fatal heart attack. So 217 is the NNT. But when you look at people with a high risk for cardiovascular disease, only 39 people have to take a statin to prevent one non-fatal heart attack. So the NNT for high-risk people is much lower than for low-risk people.
The higher your risk of cardiovascular disease, the more the benefits of statins outweigh the risks of side effects.
The professional guidelines and the online risk estimator go a long way toward identifying people who should take a statin. But each person is unique. The information here should be a starting point for discussion rather than a final answer. Talk with your healthcare provider to make a decision on whether you should take a statin.
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How Is High Cholesterol Linked To Diabetes
LDL cholesterol negatively influences the health of diabetes patients. This is because individuals who have diabetes have high cholesterol as LDL cholesterol sticks to the blood vessels and arteries walls.
Then, glucose further attaches itself to the lipoproteins. This formation makes the glucose particles stay in the system for a long duration, finally forming plaque.
Ways To Prevent High Cholesterol
You can prevent high cholesterol the same way you can help lower itby living a healthy lifestyle focused on a heart-healthy diet and exercise. Other strategies that can help prevent high cholesterol include:
- Quitting smoking
- Getting enough good quality sleep
- Limit alcohol intake
However, if you have familial hypercholesterolemia, you may not be able to prevent it. You can work with your doctor to detect it early and manage it to prevent complications.
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The American Heart Association Recommends
All adults age 20 or older should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. If certain factors put you at high risk, or if you already have heart disease, your doctor may ask you to check it more often. Work with your doctor to determine your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke and create a plan to reduce your risk.
Why Take A Total Cholesterol Blood Test
Your cholesterol levels are directly related to your heart health. They can help you to calculate your ten-year risk of having a heart attack or stroke by using the QRISK3 tool.
A cholesterol test will usually show you your ratio of good and bad cholesterol it can help you to identify whether changes to your diet may benefit your health.
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Reviewed By: Dr Sihame Benmira Senior Digital Clinician Bsc Mbbs Mba
Six out of ten adults have raised cholesterol and many people are completely unaware they have it. Thats because it tends not to cause any symptoms. But it can put you at risk for serious health conditions like heart disease and stroke.
Its useful to know what total cholesterol is as well as how different types of cholesterol impact your health.
In this article, we cover:
Another Type Of Fat Found In The Blood Mainly From The Food We Eat
Whats healthy? Less than 1.7 mmol/L ideally on a fasting sample, or less than 2.3 mmol/L on a non-fasting sample.
What should I do? Very high triglyceride levels can cause a painful condition called pancreatitis. People can have raised levels for many reasons, but the most common reasons are lifestyle-related:
- Being apple-shaped .
- Developing or having type 2 diabetes.
Excessive alcohol consumption.
You can keep your triglyceride levels low by losing weight, being more active and eating sensibly, especially by cutting back on alcohol, sugary foods and saturated fats, and eating more fruits, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains.
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What Happens To Ldl In Your Body
LDL is a waxy, fat-like substance. When theres too much of it in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries. When it does, its called plaque.
Plaque in your arteries makes them less flexible and narrower so that less blood can flow through. This means less blood can get to your heart, brain, and other organs.
About Your Cholesterol Result
A cholesterol test can measure:
- total cholesterol the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both good and bad cholesterol
- good cholesterol this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- bad cholesterol this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- triglycerides a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol
When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.
You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Ask your doctor or nurse.
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How To Lower Cholesterol: Low
Low-carbohydrate diets may help improve HDL cholesterol levels. The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found while both low-fat and low-carb dieters lost weight over the two-year study period, low-carb dieters also improved their HDL cholesterol levels. The problem with low-carb diets is that they may be difficult to adhere to. Consult your doctor about the best healthy eating plan to manage your cholesterol.
Your Diet Is Terrible
An unhealthy diet full of sugar, red meat, overly processed carbohydrates, baked goods and fried foods is terrible for LDL cholesterol. “High cholesterol clogs your arteries,” says Julia Zumpano, RD. “Eat in a way that keeps the arteries open and clear because restricted blood flow leads to heart attacks. The amount of research that supports the Mediterranean diet for cardiovascular health is phenomenal. It’s been proven to be very effective for managing heart disease.”
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Cholesterol In The Body
Cholesterol is needed in the body for the proper functioning of nerves and hormonal balance. It is important to keep a check on fat consumption for healthy cholesterol levels. A high cholesterol diet, inactive lifestyle and smoking increase the bad cholesterol levels in the body, which gives rise to many serious health issues.
High Cholesterol: Prevention Treatment And Research
Cholesterol is a natural component in everyones blood, and supports normal function of cell membranes, hormone levels and more. However, having too much, is considered hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia or high blood cholesterol a major risk factor for heart attack, heart disease and stroke. About 71 million Americans have high cholesterol.
Heres what happens in your body when you have high cholesterol: The waxy cholesterol builds up in artery walls and contributes to plaque, a hard deposit that narrows and clogs the arteries.
When plaque builds up, it becomes harder for the heart to circulate blood and oxygen, which can cause chest pain or shortness of breath with increased exertion . If a blood clot forms at the site of a disrupted plaque in a narrowed artery, it can block blood flow to the brain or to the heart .
There are actually several different types of cholesterol, one of which is high density lipoprotein cholesterol. High levels of some kinds of cholesterol, including low density lipoprotein cholesterol, can be harmful to your heart and blood vessels.
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Make The Changes Worth Making
If you have high blood cholesterol, making lifestyle changes is a great first step to lower your risk of heart disease. If those steps dont reduce your risk enough, your doctor may prescribe medications to help.
Remember: Making even modest changes now can help to prevent significant medical issues later. Do all you can to reduce your risk for the serious effects of heart attack and stroke.
What Is A Healthy Cholesterol Level
When we talk about cholesterol, we are usually most interested in LDL. As we discussed earlier, the total cholesterol can be misleading. Thats why its important to look at the different numbers in your panel.
The healthiest cholesterol range for you depends on your unique situation and other medical conditions. For example:
For people without heart disease, the ideal LDL cholesterol is under 100 mg/dL.
If you have heart disease, diabetes, or youre at high risk for high cholesterol, your provider will probably work with you to get your LDL below 70 mg/dL. This will likely require medications to help.
Even if you have no risk factors, you may need treatment for an LDL cholesterol over 160 mg/dL. Thats because numbers in this high range mean youre more likely to develop problems early in life. If your number falls in this range, your high cholesterol may be due to your genes.
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Are High Cholesterol Levels Dangerous
A high cholesterol level can be a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. These devastating events happen when a cholesterol plaque ruptures. This causes blood to suddenly clot and block an artery in the heart or brain.
Blockages that prevent sufficient blood flow in the coronary arteries can lead to a form of chest pain called angina. Angina is a common symptom of coronary artery disease. Symptoms usually occur with exertion and go away with rest.
Cholesterol And Peripheral Vascular Disease
In addition to your heart and your brain, cholesterol plaque can cause symptoms in your legs and other areas outside of your heart and brain . Legs and feet are most common. You might notice cramps in your calves when you walk that get better with rest. This is like angina — it works the same way — but in your legs instead of your heart.
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Risk Factors For Heart Disease
While high blood cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol are significant risk factors for heart disease, there are also a number of other contributing factors, many of which can be managed or changed:
- cigarette smoking
- diabetes, both type 1 and type 2
- obesity and being overweight, weight gain
- kidney disease
- poor diet
- excessive alcohol use
- family history of heart disease at young age
- being a male
- older age in general
- stressful lifestyle
Another factor that influences your risk of heart disease is where your body stores excess fat. If you have an apple-shaped body with most of your fat around the stomach, you are at a greater risk of heart disease than if your body is pear-shaped, with most of your fat around your hips. Generally, men carry their fat around the stomach, whereas women carry it on the hips and thighs.
If Your Ratio Of Triglycerides To Hdl Cholesterol Is High How Can You Lower It
One of the most powerful solutions Ive found for promoting a healthy triglyceride to HDL cholesterol ratio is an extract from the citrus bergamot orange grown in the Calabria area of Italy. Research has shown it helps to lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol levels. Another important benefit is that it helps to reduce blood glucose levels.
The research that turned me on to this nutrient was conducted by Italian pharmacobiologists in 2011. In their trial, they documented significant reductions in triglycerides and blood sugar, along with a solid boost for the group taking the extract from the citrus bergamot orange. Plus, lifestyle changes can also help your triglyceride to HDL cholesterol ratio.
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Uncontrollable High Cholesterol Risk Factors
- Gender: After menopause, a woman’s LDL cholesterol level goes up, as does their risk for heart disease.
- Age: Your risk may increase as you get older. Men 45 or older and women 55 or older have a higher risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.
- Family history: Your risk of high cholesterol may increase if a father or brother had high cholesterol or early heart disease or a mother or sister had early heart disease . You can also inherit a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia , which causes high LDL levels starting at a young age. Itâs rare, but left untreated, it can worsen over time. Talk to your doctor about whether to get a test for FH.
New Guidelines For Ldl Levels And Addressing Cardiovascular Disease Risk
New guidelines for assessing your heart disease give you and your doctor powerful tools for estimating your cardiovascular disease risk and lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. Working with your health care team, you can create a plan with a customized combination of lifestyle changes, medications and continued monitoring.
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How Do Good And Bad Cholesterol Affect The Body
High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the good cholesterol. The benefit of HDL lies in the fact that it carries bad cholesterol back to the liver. In doing so, it cleanses cholesterol from the bloodstream.
Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, is the bad cholesterol. The higher the level of LDL cholesterol, the greater your risk of a heart attack. When the level of LDL cholesterol goes up, excess cholesterol can build up and stick to the walls of your arteries. This causes damage. The buildup is called plaque, and the formation of plaque can cause arteries to harden and narrow. This hardening is called atherosclerosis. Its also known as hardening of the arteries. If a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot can form, suddenly blocking an artery. This causes a heart attack or stroke.
How Often Should I Check My Cholesterol
The only way to check your cholesterol levels is with a blood test.
Its generally a good idea to check your cholesterol every few years or more frequently if you are known to have high cholesterol or another condition that puts you at increased risk of heart disease. Some people may like to check their cholesterol more often, especially if they are making lifestyle changes and want to track their progress.
Youll usually be offered a cholesterol test if you:
- Are aged between 40 and 74 its included every five years with the NHS health check
- Are at high risk of heart disease e.g., if you have a family history, youre overweight, you smoke, or you have diabetes
- Have been diagnosed with heart disease or other related illnesses like stroke or peripheral vascular disease
- Are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol its usually tested every year
- Have a close relative with familial hypercholesterolaemia
You can check your cholesterol levels at home with our Cholesterol Blood Test a simple finger-prick blood test.
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Cholesterol And Blood Pressure
Another possible complication of high cholesterol is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. High blood pressure occurs when atherosclerosis causes arteries to harden and become narrower, making it more difficult for the heart to supply blood to the rest of the body. The result is an increase in the pressure at which the blood moves through the arteries.
High blood pressure can have many health implications of its own, including eye damage and kidney disease, and is linked to a greater risk of stroke, heart attack, and peripheral arterial disease .
How High Cholesterol Medication Is Used
The treatment of high cholesterol is a two-pronged approach focused on lowering bad LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol.
Your healthcare provider will typically recommend treatment with high cholesterol medications, aimed at lowering your total cholesterol and, more specifically, your LDL levels. An elevated total cholesterol level is usually defined as a level above 200 milligrams per deciliter , or an LDL level above 130 mg/dL, but these cutoffs may vary based on your risk for coronary artery disease. In general, lower is better when it comes to LDL cholesterol.
Statin medications are often the first medications used for high cholesterol. Therapy with statins is divided into low-, medium-, and high-intensity levels. The higher the intensity level, the greater the targeted reduction in LDL levels.
Depending on the severity of your high cholesterol levels, other cholesterol-lowering medication may also be prescribed.
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Signs You Have High Ldl Cholesterol
According to the CDC, 38% of Americans have high cholesterol. If left untreated, high cholesterol can lead to serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke. “We usually think of HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, cholesterol as somewhat protective for our hearts and blood vessels because it absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver,” says Kate Kirley, MD. “We tend to think of LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, as the main type of cholesterol that we focus on as a potentially harmful cholesterol for our hearts because it collects in the walls of your blood vessels.” Here are five signs your LDL cholesterol is too high, according to experts. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.