An estimated half of Americans have high cholesterol
making its management both prevalent and important. Many
patients may be unaware they have high cholesterol or of its
long-term effects on health. Cholesterol does significantly
increase a patient’s risk of heart disease, heart attack, and
stroke. This PET is designed to give a general overview of what
cholesterol is and its risk factors. It also is designed to help
enable patients to better manage their cholesterol through
reviewing possible lifestyle interventions and pharmacotherapy.
Lifestyle changes that are recommended include eating a healthy,
low fat diet, exercising at least 30 minutes every day, weight
loss, and smoking cessation. Statins, nicotinic acid, fibric
acid, and bile acid resins are briefly reviewed including side
effects. The need to talk to your physician before starting
alternative therapy is also emphasized. The alternative therapy
Red Yeast Rice (RYR) extract is also reviewed. Recent research
may indicate a role for RYR extract in safely reducing
cholesterol in the short-term. However, many of the studies
looking at RYR are of poor quality and do not look at its longterm
effects. Medications that have been proven to be safe and
effective such as statins are recommended for the primary
pharmacological management of high cholesterol.
A Simple Guide to Cholesterol: What you Need to Know and do to Manage your Cholesterol.
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