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  • 2016 05 Medicine, High cholesterol and statin therapy
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Heart attacks and strokes kill us! Coronary heart disease, hardening of the blood vessels, heart attacks and strokes are the leading cause of death in developed countries. Their numbers are increasing rapidly in developing countries as well. One important reason we are at risk for these diseases is high cholesterol. If you are at risk: Quit or reduce cigarette smoking, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, reduce your alcohol intake, and lose weight if you are obese. If you do not – or cannot – adhere to these lifestyle changes almost every day, your doctor will prescribe a tablet, a statin. Now, you must take this tablet, the statin, every day. This is because high cholesterol is treated with statins. This treatment is effective. There is no doubt about that. Nevertheless, the debate continues, because the new guideline does not say anymore: Almost everybody who is at risk should take a statin every day. Instead, it says: Almost everybody who is 60 years or older should take a statin every day. This generalised recommendation has led to controversy. The controversy, unfortunately, is not resolved unto this day.