Expert shares new guidelines for treating high cholesterol

High cholesterol significantly increases an individual’s risk of heart disease and stroke, especially if it goes untreated.

In the past, guidelines recommended that physicians begin prescribing cholesterol medication (statins) once a patient’s cholesterol reached a certain level.

However, the new treatment guidelines, released by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology in November of 2013, recommend that treatment be individualized to each patient based on their health history and current risk of developing heart disease.

According to the new guidelines, it is recommended for the following patient populations to begin taking cholesterol medication:

1. Patients who already have an established history of cardiovascular disease or events, such as heart attack or stroke.
2. Patients with diabetes.
3. Patients with an LDL (bad cholesterol) level of 190 or higher.
4. Patients who have 7.5 percent or greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease within the next ten years.

The goal of the new treatment guidelines for high cholesterol is to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in the targeted patient populations.

It is important for individuals to discuss their personal and family health history, as well as other risk factors for heart disease, with their physician, as taking preventative action can be potentially life-saving.

Our community is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care physicians, cardiologists and other related healthcare providers dedicated to keeping their patients healthy and lowering their risk of developing serious conditions such as heart disease.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Muhammad Arida is a cardiologist at LeBauer HeartCare at Burlington and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group.

Dr. Arida received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Damascus in Damascus, Syria in 1998.

He completed his residency and fellowship in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology at the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute in Detroit, Michigan in 2008.

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