New Guidelines for Managing Cholesterol – Nov. 2013 AHA

The guidelines issued by AHA for prescribing statin drugs to patients have drastically changed this year. This is revolutionary, as people who were not eligible for this prescription earlier, are now being advised to take a statin drug.

Old Guidelines

As we all know, Cholesterol is of two types, good cholesterol or HDL and bad cholesterol or LDL. LDL has a role in plaque formation and clogging of arteries. On the other hand, HDL has a preventive role.

The desired levels of cholesterol in blood were numerically defined.

  • Total cholesterol 200mg/dl
  • LDL 70mg/dl
  • HDL 40mg/dl

Levels higher than these numeric figures were a sign to give statin drugs.

What Has Changed?

Now the guidelines have changed. Newer guidelines do not rely upon these figures, but rather on the medical status of the patient.

Doctors now recommend statin to patient falling under the following groups:

  • All patients with active heart disease
  • People between ages 40 to 75 with Type 2 diabetes
  • People with LDL levels of 190 or greater
  • Anyone who has a 7.5% or greater risk of developing heart disease in next ten years.

Apart from this, the new guidelines encourage doctors to adopt practices that may reduce bad cholesterol and overall fat by regular exercising programs and consumptions of fresh fruits and vegetables.

It has been clinically seen that whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables have stanols or sterols in them.

These compounds are more effective than the statin drugs in controlling the cholesterol levels. So, consuming 4 to 6 bowls of fresh fruits and vegetables can work as a miracle for all heart patients.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “New AHA Guidelines for Managing Cholesterol – Nov. 2013

  1. Kam

    I have received following reports:
    Total Cholesterol – 182
    LDL – 112.40
    HDL – 48
    VLDL 21.6
    Triglycerides – 108
    Sugar Fasting – 80
    Age – 54 yrs
    Kindly advice how to reduce LDL. Is there any thing serious? I am not taking any medicines.
    Any further advice will be useful.

        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Your lab values are all within the normal range, except LDL, which is slightly elevated.

          This suggests that you need to reduce the fat level in your body. If you are obese, try to reduce weight. Your symptoms would improve as you lose weight and make dietary changes so as to reduce the overall fat in your body.

          Quit smoking, if you smoke.

          No medicines are needed at this stage. You just need to make dietary changes. Eat more of fruits and vegetables in your meals, less of fatty or fried stuff. Fruits and vegetables have the essential chemicals to reduce LDL in blood.

          Also, you need to exercise on a daily basis. Walking is also enough, maybe half an hour in the morning.


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