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European cardiovascular groups issue new cholesterol treatment guidelines

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Doctors should make efforts to address every aspect of the lifestyle of patients who receive unhealthy cholesterol tests, according to a new set of guidelines from a group of European cardiovascular experts.

The recommendations from the European Atherosclerosis Society and the European Society of Cardiology state that before putting any patients on cholesterol-lowering statins, doctors should counsel patients on eating healthier and getting more exercise. Aside from genetic factors, these are the leading causes of high cholesterol.

However, for those who still have unhealthy cholesterol tests even after lifestyle changes, statin medications may be a valuable last line of defense. High-risk patients often benefit from starting treatment with these medications. When used in conjunction with lifestyle improvements, they can have a powerful effect. This is the idea behind the comprehensive approach advocated for in the guidelines.

The recommendations could have an important effect on how doctors treat high cholesterol. The condition is notoriously difficult to address. Given the fact that it is one of the most common contributors to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S., developing better treatments may benefit millions of people.

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