Taking statins alone won't decrease heart disease risk

  • Wellness
  • Wednesday, 18 Mar 2020

Just taking statins alone to control your cholesterol levels will not reduce your chances of heart disease, it must be combined with a healthy lifestyle. — AFP

Statins are medications that reduce your risk of a heart attack and stroke by lowering your cholesterol level.

Dr Stephen Kopecky, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist in the United States, says people should combine statins with a heart-healthy lifestyle to get the most benefit.

“If you take a statin and lower your numbers, but you don’t have a healthy lifestyle, a healthy diet and food pattern, then you don’t get the benefit of the statin, ” he says.

How can that be?

Dr Kopecky explains that some people ask to be put on a statin so that they can eat what they want.

“It doesn’t work that way, ” he says.

“When you take a statin, your numbers look better, your LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol) looks better, but your cardiac events don’t reduce.”

That’s because statins, while important and effective, are just one part of the whole heart-healthy picture.

When you combine a statin with regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling stress, not smoking and eating foods based on the Mediterranean diet, you can improve your heart health.

“A pill doesn’t take the place of a healthy lifestyle. It has to be in addition to it, ” says Dr Kopecky.

He adds that if you work in lifestyle changes slowly over time, you’ll be on your way to better heart health. – Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service

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High cholesterol , drugs , exercise , diet


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