(BPT) – More than 100 million U.S. adults have high cholesterol, a major risk factor for developing heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Two out of three don’t have the condition under control and more than half don’t get treatment, the CDC reports. What’s more, three in 10 patients who experience side effects from their cholesterol medication discontinue treatment, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Why are so many people with high cholesterol taking risks by not treating their condition?
“I find that many patients don’t fully understand the serious consequences of high cholesterol, and it’s not a condition that causes symptoms they can feel,” says Dr. Shawn Dhillon, founder and medical director of the Calvert Medical Group in Baltimore and a leading authority on cholesterol. “Unfortunately, this can often lead them to not seek treatment or stop taking their medicine that helps keep their cholesterol levels under control.”
Untreated high cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease and having a heart attack. To lower cholesterol, doctors often prescribe statins, a treatment category that includes more than seven different types currently available. Despite the proven impact of statins on lowering cholesterol, at least 50 percent of people stop taking their prescribed statin within one year of starting it, according to a 2012 survey which was the largest known cholesterol…
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