Features November 2008 Issue

Lipid Control May Require More than a Statin

Additional medications or lifestyle changes may be necessary to lower total bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.

Statin drugs enable millions to lower their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and with it, their risk of heart attack or stroke. However, a significant percentage of people with low LDL still suffer cardiovascular events. Reducing this "residual risk" may require altering other blood lipids. "Elevated LDL is bad, but so are high levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) and low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL)," says Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Michael Rocco, MD. "All adults should have a fasting blood lipid panel that includes LDL, HDL, VLDL, TGs and total cholesterol by age 20."

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