Why is high cholesterol considered dangerous?
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease—the leading cause of death in America. When cholesterol levels get too high (200-239 mg/dL=borderline high; 240 mg/dL=high), it creates a thick, hard buildup within the walls of the arteries.
Simply put, high cholesterol must be taken seriously; your life could depend on it.
What are the major risks?
High cholesterol could lead to blocked blood supply and flow to the heart or the brain. This can eventually result in:
Learn about four everyday ways to manage high cholesterol
How can I lower my cholesterol?
Your doctor can talk to you about different ways to help lower your cholesterol. Some common suggestions are to:
Take prescription medication (like a statin)
What is statin medication?
Doctors widely prescribe a class of medicines called statins, which are proven to be both safe and effective in the treatment of high cholesterol. Statins work by blocking an important enzyme named HMG-CoA reductase that your liver needs to help make LDL (bad) cholesterol. Statins also help to keep production of cholesterol down and to ultimately remove it from the bloodstream.
Are all statins the same?
All statin treatments have the same goal. However, how people respond to a statin can vary from person to person based on individual factors like medical conditions and even ethnicity. An eye-opening statistic uncovered by a recent survey of over 5,000 Americans aged 45 or older who are diagnosed with high cholesterol and have ever taken a statin medication for it showed that the most commonly cited reason for stopping statin treatment was side effects. However, this survey also discovered that 79% of people say their healthcare provider did not tell them that there are different types of statins available. Since everybody responds to medication differently, it's critical to make sure that you're taking the right statin for you.