A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that approximately 50 percent of American adults who could benefit from statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors), which are a type of cholesterol lowering medications, are not taking them.
In the study, the researchers looked at blood samples from more than 8,600 Americans. Between 2005 and 2012, and they also interviewed the participants about their use of statins, or cholesterol-lowering medications.
Researchers found that about 78 million adults in the United State could benefit from cholesterol-lowering medications, because they have a higher risk of have either disease, or high cholesterol levels. That being said, only 55.5 percent of the study participants – who also had those problems – said that they were taking cholesterol-lowering medications.
Cholesterol levels can also be lowered through lifestyle changes like healthier diet, exercise, and weight loss. However, 35.5 percent of people said that they are not making lifestyle changes, nor are they taking cholesterol-lowering drugs to lower their cholesterol levels.
According to the researchers, white people were more likely to take cholesterol-lowering drugs than minority populations. About 58 percent of whites were taking the drugs, compared with 46 percent of black and 47 percent of Hispanics.
Carla Mercado, a scientist in the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, said that each year, almost 800,000 people die in the United Stated because of cardiovascular diseases. One of the major risk factor is high cholesterol levels, Mercado added.
High cholesterol levels cause an accumulation of cholesterol in the arterial walls, blocking the flow of blood to the heart. Cholesterol-lowering medications have been proven to lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The American Heart association recommends these medications for people who have: heart disease; LDL cholesterol levels of 190 mg/dL or higher – LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol; diabetes with LDL cholesterol levels between 70 and 189 mg/dL, and are between the ages of 40 and 75; who have had a stroke, chest pain, or a heart attack; people who have a 7.5 risk of developing heart disease in the next ten years, who are ages 40 to 75 and have LDL cholesterol levels between 70 and 189 mg/dL.
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