Everyone’s health journey is different, but taking care of your heart should be a priority for all. If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you probably recognize that it’s very common, but you may not know that it affects more than 100 million Americans—or just how serious it can be. Unfortunately, unmanaged high cholesterol can lead to a heart attack, stroke or even death. Taking proactive steps to manage your cholesterol levels is key to your overall health, so it’s time to get the facts—empowered with the right knowledge and resources, staying heart-healthy doesn’t have to be difficult!
While high cholesterol typically has no signs or symptoms, simple blood testing conducted during your regular physicals can detect unhealthy levels. If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, making lifestyle modifications such as a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise can help manage levels, but for some, this may not be enough to reach your cholesterol goals. Your doctor may also prescribe you a statin, a type of cholesterol-lowering medication, that is widely considered to be safe and effective. Unfortunately, studies show that at least 50 percent of people on a statin stop taking it within one year, potentially putting their heart health at risk.
Take Cholesterol to Heart (TC2H), a national education campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of untreated high cholesterol, recognizes that not all statins are the same and that a statin that’s right for one person may not be right for the next. While all statins aim to reduce high cholesterol, they are not all processed the same way; this depends on considerations like age, ethnicity, medical history, certain foods you eat, other medications you take, and more. With this in mind, individualized treatment plans are key. In a new public service announcement, TC2H tackles this topic and tries to help people see the urgency of taking high cholesterol seriously, including having more open conversations with their doctor about their statin.
If you have high cholesterol and are taking a statin, be sure to talk to your doctor to make sure the statin you’re taking is the one that’s actually the most appropriate for you. Howie Mandel, ambassador for the Take Cholesterol to Heart Campaign, understands this firsthand. Since being diagnosed with high cholesterol more than 30 years ago, Howie has learned to successfully manage his cholesterol by making healthy lifestyle choices (though he still can’t say no to chocolate!), having open conversations with his doctor and finding the right statin medication for him. See more tips and videos from Howie on the TC2H site.
Bottom line: Get the facts—you have statin options. Speak openly to your doctor about what you’re experiencing on your statin to make sure it’s the right one for you. Learn more at TakeCholesteroltoHeart.com.