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Statins can help you manage your cholesterol levels
Your doctor may prescribe a medication to help lower your cholesterol, especially if modifying your diet and increasing your physical activity are not getting you to your cholesterol goals.
While there are different types of medications that can be used, statins are a class of drugs that are usually recommended because of their ability to effectively lower cholesterol in the blood. This cholesterol comes from both the food you eat and what is produced by the liver, although most of it comes from the liver. Statins work by reducing the levels of cholesterol made by the liver and by helping to remove cholesterol that’s already in the blood. Some statins have also been shown to raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Statins are widely prescribed to help manage cholesterol
Additionally, statins are the only type of cholesterol-lowering therapy that has been proven to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. In fact, approximately 38.6 million Americans take a statin, with over one-fourth of Americans over 40 currently on a statin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In most cases, doctors will prescribe statins to people who are actively trying to lower their cholesterol through modified diet and increased physical activity but whose cholesterol levels are still higher than recommended. As a general rule, you should try to keep your total cholesterol level below 200 mg/dL and your LDL (bad) cholesterol below 100 mg/dL. By maintaining cholesterol at appropriate levels, you may be able to reduce your risk of heart attacks and stroke. However, if you have other risk factors for heart disease or stroke, your doctor may prescribe a statin to help reduce your overall risk, even if your cholesterol levels are below these limits.
There are medical conditions for which statins are recommended
Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important for everyone, but it’s even more so for people who have other health issues that could lead to heart disease. Recent guidelines from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that statins be given to people with:
- Clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (which includes coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease)
- Primary elevations of LDL (bad) cholesterol levels of 190 mg/dL or more
- Diabetes who are 40 to 75 years of age and have LDL (bad) cholesterol levels of 70 to 189 mg/dL without clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
- LDL (bad) cholesterol levels of 70 to 189 mg/dL and an estimated 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease of 7.5% or higher without clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or diabetes
LIVALO is a statin proven to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol
When doctors choose to prescribe a statin, there are a number of factors they’ll consider when making that decision. Some of these factors include the age of the person, other medical conditions they may have, and/or other medicines they may be taking. Many doctors choose to prescribe LIVALO when a person is taking other or multiple medications because LIVALO has a reduced risk of interacting with other medicines. Also, certain side effects, such as muscle pain, occur infrequently with LIVALO use.
Even though LIVALO and other statins have been proven to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, once you start taking a statin, it’s still important to stick to your cholesterol-lowering, heart-healthy diet and keep up with a regular exercise routine.
If you have specific questions or concerns about taking your statin, remember that your doctor is always the best source for information and answers.