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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
Reaching and maintaining optimal levels for four major risk factors in people who have already had a stroke can reduce the risk of a second stroke or heart attack, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting.
Researchers looked at high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides and high blood pressure and found that for each risk factor that is kept at the optimal level, the risk of stroke and other major cardiovascular problems goes down.
"These results show that there is a cumulative effect to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure," said study author Dr Pierre Amarenco. He added that while scientists already knew lowering these factors were helpful overall, they did not know prior to this study whether one risk factor played a stronger role than another.
The study found that no single factor was more important than the others, but that risk went down dramatically the more of the factors a patient controlled. At least two needed to be controlled to see risk reduction greater than only a few percent.
The optimal levels were defined as LDL cholesterol of lower than 70, HDL cholesterol of higher than 50, triglycerides less than 150 and blood pressure less than 120/80.
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