Cholesterol Reduction :: A Doctor's Guide
Cholesterol Reduction

Lowering Cholesterol Levels

Drug therapy seems inevitable to people who after following a balance diet and exercising to keep themselves fit, still suffer from high cholesterol levels. Although we have medicines claiming to lower cholesterol, it still remains a matter of debate among the various kinds of drugs.

People who need modern day medicine to try and stop high cholesterol levels, the drugs of first choice for elevated LDL cholesterol are the HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, e.g., atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin. Statin drugs are very effective for lowering LDL cholesterol levels and have few immediate short-term side effects.

Drug consideration can be accounted for people with LDL cholesterol of 190 mg/dl and without coronary heart disease with two or more other risk factors. The objective is to bring it down to 130mg/dl.

The same process is applied to persons with LDL Cholesterol of 160mg/dl without coronary heart disease and with two three other risk factors .The objective is to lower it down to 130mg/dl.

For persons with coronary heart disease with LDL Cholesterol of 130mg/dl, the objective is to bring it down to 100mg/dl.

Precautionary Measures:

In men less than 35 years of age and premenopausal women with LDL cholesterol levels of 190 to 219 mg/dL, drug therapy should be delayed except in high-risk patients such as those with diabetes.

In coronary heart disease patients with LDL cholesterol levels of 100 to 129 mg/dL, the physician should exercise clinical judgment in deciding whether to begin drug treatment.

In some cases, a physician may decide that using cholesterol-lowering drugs at lower LDL cholesterol levels is justified. On the other hand, drug therapy may not be appropriate for some patients who meet the above criteria. This may be true for elderly patients.

Factors Influencing Cholesterol Lowering Drugs:

The presence of other coronary heart disease risk factors influences the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs:
  • Age (for men, 45 years or older; for women, 55 years or older OR premature menopause)
  • High blood pressure (140/90 mm Hg or higher)
  • HDL cholesterol less than 40 mg/dL
  • Family history of premature CHD (a father, brother or son with a history of CHD before age 55, OR a mother, sister or daughter with CHD before age 65)
  • Smoking, living or working every day with people who smoke
  • Diabetes (fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dL or higher)

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