Today on MD-VOD, Dr. John Kennedy is joined by renowned cardiologist and past President of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Ralph Brindis to get “the real skinny on fat.” Together they examine the cause of high cholesterol and heart disease, who is at risk, the symptoms, how it’s diagnosed and available medications, treatments and therapies. They further discuss the consequences and the realities of living with high cholesterol, including insurance coverage and related costs.
Knowing your cholesterol level is the first step, and treating it if elevated is critical since high cholesterol is directly related to your risk of a heart attack. Today over 100 million people in the U.S are living with “high cholesterol” and some don’t even know it. Having high cholesterol also puts you at risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
- Approximately one in every six adults—16.3% of the U.S. adult population—has high total cholesterol.
- People with high total cholesterol have approximately twice the risk of heart disease as people with optimal levels.
- Typically a high level is considered 240 and a desirable level is lower than 200 mg/dL.
- The average level in the US is about 200 mg/dL, which is considered borderline high risk.
- More women than men have high cholesterol in the United States.
Dr. Brindis points out that best to start with diet and exercise when addressing high cholesterol. Although for those with persistently elevated levels, and for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of premature coronary artery disease, we recommend starting on cholesterol lowering drugs. Starting medication for lowering your cholesterol depends on whether your cholesterol level remains elevated after diet and exercise or whether you have the aforementioned additional risk factors.
The most studied, proven and medications, shown to decrease first time and second time heart attacks by lowering cholesterol are known as the statins. Some of the most commonly prescribed include: Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol, Crestor and Zocor. Many of these medications have been around for decades and are available in generic forms which are just as effective in lowering cholesterol levels and are actually quite cheap or as clinicians would say, cost-effective.
So join us as we simplify this common and treatable disease and arm you with the tools and information you need to lower your cholesterol and that of those you love.
*****This video contains healthcare information only, not medical advice.*****
Host, Dr. John Kennedy, MD, FACC is the Director of Preventive Cardiology and Wellness, Marina Del Rey Hospital, Marina Del Rey, California. He is on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association and is the Co-Author of The 15 Minute Heart Cure: The Natural Way to Release Stress and Heal Your Heart in Just Minutes a Day.
Guest expert, Dr. Brindis is the Senior Advisor for Cardiovascular Disease for Northern California Kaiser, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He recently served as the President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). He received his undergrad education at MIT and has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UCLA. He graduated Emory Medical School Summa Cum Laude. Dr. Brindis is active as a volunteer in the American Heart Association (AHA) having served on the California Affiliate Board and is a practicing cardiologist.