How Is High Blood Cholesterol Treated?
The main goal of cholesterol-lowering treatment is to lower your LDL level enough to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or other diseases caused by hardening of the arteries. In general, the higher your LDL level and the more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. (A risk factor is a condition that increases your chance of getting a disease.) Some people are at high risk for heart attack because they already have heart disease. Other people are at high risk for developing heart disease because they have diabetes or a combination of risk factors for heart disease. Follow the steps below to find out your risk for getting heart disease.
Check the list to see how many of the risk factors you have. These are the risk factors that affect your LDL goal:
- Cigarette smoking
- High blood pressure (140/90 or higher or on blood pressure medicine)
- Low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL)*
- Family history of early heart disease (heart disease in father or brother before age 55; heart disease in mother or sister before age 65)
- Age (men 45 years or older; women 55 years or older).