Lower Cholesterol: Available therapies often go unused
Elevated blood lipid levels are crucial Risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Above all, people at increased risk for cardiovascular events should therefore keep their blood pressure too high lower cholesterol levels. But they often remain available therapies unused for this. According to experts, this also has to do with the fact that those affected are troubled by outdated and incorrect information.
High cholesterol levels I’m because of serious illness of the cardiovascular system such as heart attack, stroke or blockages in the arteries of the legs (peripheral arterial disease). Because too much fat in the blood can clog the vessels. People belonging to risk groups in particular should therefore take measures to lower cholesterol. But although effective and tolerable concepts are available, they are often not used.
New LDL value for cardiac or vascular patients
As the German Diabetes Society (DDG) explains in a current report, cholesterol is a naturally occurring fatty substance found in all cells and is, among other things, an important building block of hormones.
In the blood, cholesterol is transported in so-called lipoproteins such as LDL cholesterol and HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Excess LDL cholesterol is deposited in the inner walls of the vessels, which can lead to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Therefore, it is also called “bad” cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol can reduce the amount of harmful fats in the blood and is therefore considered to be such “good” cholesterol..
For people without risk factors for cardiovascular disease apply to total cholesterol level less than 200 mg / dL (5.2 mmol / L) and an LDL value of less than 116 mg / dL or 3 mmol / L as favorable.
For some time now in the specialist journal “European Heart Journal” a new LDL value for cardiac or vascular patients has been reported below 55 mg / dl of LDL-C.
Other risk factors also play a role
The connection between too much blood cholesterol and the occurrence of vascular calcification researchers proved as early as 1913. “The higher the LDL cholesterol, the greater the risk of developing cardiovascular disease”, explains prof. physician Alexander Mann, Medical Director of the Endokrinologikum in Frankfurt am Main.
“But that doesn’t mean every person with high LDL cholesterol will develop cardiovascular disease.” Conversely, however, even low LDL cholesterol does not offer absolute protection.
Genetic predisposition, vascular wall sensitivity and more risk factors such as diabetes, nicotine consumption or high blood pressure would also increase the risk.
Physicians therefore consider individual cardiovascular risk when choosing the type of therapy. This can often happen in otherwise healthy people lifestyle change a low-fat diet and more exercise are enough to lower LDL cholesterol.
Medication is essential for some people
In patients with high and very high cardiovascular risk, for example people who Diabetes If you have type 2 mellitus, it is essential to take medications to achieve healthy cholesterol levels. Various studies show this.
According to the DDG, studies also show that not all affected people take cholesterol-lowering drugs: according to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, less than 30% of those affected have LDL cholesterol in Germany, considered particularly harmful below the target value of 70 mg / dl, still valid at the time of the study.
“The minimization of the risk of cardiovascular diseases is currently not limited by the therapeutic possibilities, but rather by the fact that they are not used”said the endocrinologist.
This is also because many outdated and incorrect information circulate through cholesterol. This upsets the patient and prevents them from taking medications.
Elevated HDL cholesterol levels alone are not enough
The molecular mechanism by which LDL cholesterol is reduced is not important: “Each reduction leads to a reduction in cardiovascular disease”explains also medical professor Dr. Stephan Petersenn, media spokesperson for the Hamburg DGE.
The scope of the cardiovascular Risk reduction it depends both on the extent of the reduction in LDL cholesterol and on how long it is done. The following applies: “The higher a patient’s cardiovascular risk, the lower their personal LDL cholesterol goal.”
The doctor also clarifies a prejudice: “Unfortunately, elevated LDL cholesterol is not offset by elevated HDL cholesterol levels, as many speculate.”
There are various therapeutic options for lowering LDL cholesterol that doctors use in the form of a step-by-step scheme tailored to the respective patient. Also, the DDG provides some Advice on nutrients to reduce cardiovascular risk:
- total fat intake to reduce
- Long chain saturated with single and multiple unsaturated fatty acids substitute
- Omega 3- substitute for omega-6 fatty acids
- trans fat avoid
- Cholesterinaufnahme to reduce
- Follow the WHO recommendation: Adults should exercise at least 150 minutes per week and children at least one hour per day physically active to be
- Less than six cups if possible Coffee drink per day.
Information on the author and source
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by medical professionals.
- German Diabetes Society: Patients at risk for heart disease must lower their cholesterol levels: however, drugs are often not used due to the injury, (accessed: 22 June 2022), German Diabetes Society
- Mach F, Baigent C, Catapano AL et al .: ESC / EAS 2019 guidelines for the management of dyslipidemias: lipid modifications to reduce cardiovascular risk: The Task Force for the management of dyslipidemias of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS); in: European Heart Journal, (veröffentlicht online: 31.08.2019 and in: Volume 41, Issue 1, Pages 111–188, 1 January 2020), European Heart Journal
- Kornelia Kotseva, Guy De Backer, Dirk De Bacquer, et al .: Primary prevention efforts are underdeveloped in people with high cardiovascular risk: a report from the European Society of Cardiology EURObservational Research Program EUROASPIRE V survey in 16 European countries; in: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, (veröffentlicht: 08.05.2021), European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
This article contains general advice only and is not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.