-“Doctor…How often do I have to check my cholesterol level?”
The above question is asked by concerned patients, well informed about the nefarious effects of a high cholesterol level for the cardiovascular system. The answer is: as frequently as necessary to make sure it’s in the right range. There are many useful guides that can be consulted online with recommendations of acceptable Lipid levels in blood.
Three new studies published online in the New England Journal of Medicine support the medical view that cholesterol-lowering statins should be used to prevent cardiovascular disease, even in patients with moderate hypertension.
The HOPE-3 study—an acronym that stands for “Heart Outcomes prevention Evaluation”—enrolled 12,705 ethnically-diverse people from 21 countries, including men that were 55 years of age or older and women that were 65 years of age or older. They had to qualify with at least 1 risk factor:
- elevated waist-to-hip ratio.
- a history of low concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- current or recent tobacco use.
- abnormalities of the glucose level in blood.
- mild renal dysfunction.
The patients were randomly assigned to take either rouvastatin 10 mg. daily or a placebo along with either a combination dosage of candesartan 16 mg. and hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg. or just a placebo. In the beginning of the study the median blood pressure was 138.1/81.9 mm Hg and the average low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level was 127.8 mg per deciliter.
The risk of CVD was 25% lower in the statin group compared to the placebo and they had less serious outcomes (3.7%) than the placebo group (4.8%). In the blood pressure-lowering section of the study there was a decrease of 6.03/3.0 mm Hg in the treated group compared to the placebo group. The combined treatment reduced 29% of CVD risk compared to the placebo. Both the statin-only and combined treatments were generally well tolerated.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.