Why is controlling my cholesterol important?

Elevated cholesterol leads to increased risk for heart attack, strokes, and peripheral artery disease. Diet can help control high triglycerides and bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein (LDL). Exercise can help improve good cholesterol or high density lipoprotein (HDL). According to the American Heart Association (2017), patients with history of cardiovascular disease should have a LDL value of 70mg/dL or less to prevent future risk of heart attack, strokes, and peripheral vascular occlusions (blockages). Sometimes diet and exercise may not be enough to lower your risk for cardiovascular events, and medications may be recommended.

Fun facts about cholesterol

  • 95 million American adults, age 20 or older, have a total cholesterol > 200 mg/dL.

  • Almost 30 million American adults have total cholesterol > 240mg/dL

  • From 2011–2012, more than a third of United States adults, 78 million people, struggle with high LDL levels > 130mg/dL

  • You cannot feel high cholesterol

  • High cholesterol leads to heart disease and stroke

  • Heart Disease is 1st leading cause of death in the USA

  • Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the USA

  • In women, after menopause, the cholesterol level can rise due to hormone changes

Who manages your cholesterol?

In the majority of cases, your Primary Care Provider (PCP) will effectively manage your cholesterol. They are usually the first ones to screen for cholesterol disorders during routine annual exams and blood testing. However, a subset of patients often need to have cholesterol disorders managed by a specialist. A consultation with a Lipid Specialists may be recommended when the LDL or Triglyceride goal is not achieved while already on medications from your PCP or you have experienced a recent cardiovascular event, such as heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol is about 70% genetic and 30% dietary intake (AHA, 2017).

What is our Lipid & Lifestyle Clinic?

Our cardiology practice conveniently provides a consultation service with our Nurse Practitioner, who specializes in the evaluation and management of cholesterol. She provides an extensive evaluation of your medical history and laboratory studies and works collaboratively with you to improve diet, exercise, and medication therapies. In the Lipid and Lifestyle clinic, you will be provided routine monitoring of progress with follow up visits when necessary and via help of routine blood testing.

Lipidology is the study of lipid and lipoprotein disorders, commonly referred to as cholesterol, which is directly linked to major cardiovascular diseases including heart attack and stroke, (National Lipid Association, 2009).

Who is commonly referred for evaluation?

From PCP

(for patients above goal already on therapy)
  • Hypercholesterolemia

  • Hypertriglyceridemia

From Cardiology

  • Heart Attack

  • Ischemic Heart Disease

  • Ischemic Heart Failure

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease

  • Family History of Heart Disease

From Neurology

  • Strokes or Transient Ischemic Attacks

  • Carotid Artery Disease

How we can improve your cardiovascular health

  • Evaluate Cardiovascular Event Risk
  • Diagnose and Treat Lipid Disorders
  • Provide Recommendations for Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
  • Optimize Medical Therapy
  • Reduce Adverse Effects And Complications Of Lipid-Lowering Therapy
  • Advanced Lipid Testing interpretation

Reference

  1.  American Heart Association. (2017). About Cholesterol. Retrieved from; http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/About-Cholesterol_UCM_001220_Article.jsp#.WvsflIgvxPY
  2. Centers for Disease Control (2017, a) About high cholesterol. Retrieved from; https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm
  3. Centers for Disease Control (2017, b) Knowing your risk: High cholesterol. Retrieved from; https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/risk_factors.htm
  4. Foundation of the National Lipid Association (2009). About us: What does a lipid specialist do. Retrieved from http://www.lipidfoundation.org/about/lipid_specialists/