Managing Cholesterol Medication With Your Meridian Doctor
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) regularly update their recommendations on who should be treated with cholesterol lowering medications; the most frequently used class is the statin group which includes simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor) among others. In this article we’ll discuss the current recommendations as of 2019 and when it might be reasonable to stop statin therapy.
How do statin drugs reduce heart attack and stroke risk? In summary, 1) they reduce the bad (LDL) cholesterol which promotes blockages in arteries, 2) they possibly exhibit an anti-inflammatory effect, and 3) they stabilize existing artery blockages and prevent them from rupturing like a volcano – which causes immediate cell death (pleiotropic effects). The goal for most patients is to reduce LDL levels by 30-50%. In higher risk cases, we aim for an LDL less than 70 mg/dL; this includes those with diabetes or existing heart disease.