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Do you know your cholesterol levels? This important piece of information can offer a window into your heart health today and even decades into the future.
High cholesterol often has no symptoms. Left untreated, it can cause fatty deposits that build up inside your arteries, which may lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other complications.
Knowing this, keeping an eye on your cholesterol levels on a regular basis is crucial. If your numbers are high, you can work with your doctor to customize a personalized plan to lower your cholesterol levels and protect your heart your whole life through.
New guidelines now recommend that doctors take a customized, person-by-person approach to designing a cholesterol treatment plan for the most success.
New Guidelines for Cholesterol Control
Recently, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association published new cholesterol management guidelines.
One of the most significant changes from the previous guideline, published in 2013, is that health care providers are now encouraged to take a more personalized approach when treating patients.
For example, when determining the best treatment plan, the guideline recommends providers consider many different factors including a patient’s age, heart disease risk, LDL (bad) cholesterol level, health (such as whether the patient has type 2 diabetes), and more. Then, based on that information, the guideline offers a roadmap for treating patients with lifestyle changes and cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, to help lower a patient’s risk.
Another important update to the guidelines is the recommendation of prescribing other cholesterol-lowering drugs, in addition to statins, for some patients. For example, people who’ve had a heart attack or stroke and are at high risk of having another may benefit from taking other drugs if their cholesterol levels aren’t sufficiently lowered with statins. Additional medicines such as ezetimibe and PCK9 inhibitors can help bring cholesterol levels within a healthier range for these people.
How Personalized Cholesterol Plans Can Support Your Whole Health
Your health status, lifestyle, health history genetics and many other factors are unique. So, your approach to cholesterol management should be too. It takes a whole-health approach to customize a plan that will help you achieve your heart health goals.
With health care providers and patients working together to develop a cholesterol management plan, there’s a much greater chance for the treatment plan to be sustainable and effective.
If you have high cholesterol, are at risk for heart disease, or aren’t sure what your numbers may be, talk with your primary care doctor. Together, you can decide when your cholesterol should be tested and how best to improve your heart health and overall well-being to help you thrive.
Connect with one of our primary care experts today about protecting your whole health.