Many people battle with high cholesterol in our country. On Tuesday came a major change in the medical world regarding how doctors approach treating patients with high cholesterol.
This is a huge shift for doctors, rather than waiting to prescribe medication to those who have high cholesterol, this new approach would let them prescribe medicine to someone who didn't have high cholesterol yet, but was at risk for it.
It could be called preventative prescribing.
This new guidance was released Tuesday by the American College of Cardiology. It calls for doctors to prescribe cholesterol lowering statin drugs, based not on a person's current cholesterol levels, but on your perceived risk factors of one day having high cholesterol.
Doctors will determine your risk levels by asking four questions:
- Do you have heart disease?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Do you have a bad cholesterol level more than 190?
- And is your 10 year risk of a heart attack greater than 7.5%?
Under these new guidelines, if you answered yes to any of these questions, you should be put on a cholesterol medicine now.
The largest change in these new rules? Your cholesterol numbers, your LDL levels will no longer determine the threshold for when you are in the danger zone and need to be put on medicine.
Some experts tell CNN Health this could double the amount of people who are on cholesterol medicine now, bringing that total to 72 million. So clearly, these new guidelines will reach and potentially help many people.