Take Control of Your Cholesterol to Prevent Heart Disease

Family lowers cholesterol by preparing heart healthy meals

Did you know that you can lower your risk of heart disease by at least 50 percent just by taking steps to manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels? Ever since hearing about James Gandolfini’s untimely death, I have been thinking about the risks that heart disease poses. With so many people succumbing to heart disease each year, you may be wondering why more people don’t do more to prevent high cholesterol? Well, a recent high cholesterol clinical study suggests that this is something that only in one in three people are able to achieve.

Before we look at the results of this study, I would like to explain one thing. Despite the number of medications available for high cholesterol, research still shows that eating right is the best way to prevent the development of hypercholesterolemia. Unfortunately, with the way many people are eating nowadays, they either have chosen to ignore that risk or they may be truly ignorant of how badly they are eating.

What Have We Learned from the National Health and Nutrition Surveys?

In any case, clinical investigators reviewed the health records of more than 17,000 American adults that had volunteered to take part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys taken between 1988 to 1994, 1999 to 2004, and 2005 and 2010. This investigative team determined if the participants had high blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol, as well as any other potential risk factors for heart disease (this required further assessment of age, race, trips to the doctor, presence of underlying diseases like diabetes, smoking habits, and even insurance status).

The team discovered that the specific demographic that stood to gain the most benefit from taking prescribed medication for hypertension or high cholesterol was comprised of older Americans who were living with diabetes or heart disease, or members of the African American or Hispanic community. In addition, the clinical investigators identified what seems to be an association between the risk of having unhealthy blood pressure or cholesterol levels and the number of doctor visits per year. Essentially, the data suggests that people who visit their doctor at least twice a year were more likely to have better control over their cholesterol.

Results of this High Cholesterol Study Corroborates with Prior Research

Doctor raises awareness for heart disease and high cholesterolThis results of this latest high cholesterol clinical study correspond with an earlier one that had been published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. In this earlier study, researchers discovered that nine out of every ten African Americans who had been diagnosed with hypertension were also suffering from heart disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have estimated that nearly a third of American adults currently are living with high LDL cholesterol levels. This means that research studies like this one have very wide-reaching implications. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, then results like these should provide the extra motivation to take control of your medical condition. When it comes to preventing heart disease, you are in control of your own destiny.



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