Will more Americans benefit from cholesterol-lowering therapy?

In Nov 2013, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) introduced new guidelines to reduce heart attack and stroke through lifestyle changes and selective use of cholesterol-lowering  medications.

The ACC/AHA proposed changes to the guidelines for prescribing cholesterol-lowering medications called statins in accordance with the latest clinical study data available on the use of these drugs to reduce heart attack and strokes, due to the high prevalence of heart attack and stroke associated with high blood cholesterol.

Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew
Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew

“For years, the LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol level was the basis for the initiation and follow up of statin therapy,” cardiologist Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew at Hennepin County Medical Center explains. “But the new guidelines de-emphasized the value attached to following the LDL level and instead recommended that the intensity of statin therapy match the risk of stroke and heart attack in an individual. For example, high-intensity cholesterol reduction is now recommended for those who have had prior heart attack or stroke, since the recurrence of such events is highest for those individuals.” Continue reading “Will more Americans benefit from cholesterol-lowering therapy?”