If there is a clog in a coronary artery, your heart gets too little blood and oxygen. Without enough oxygen, your heart becomes weak and damaged. If the plaque breaks open, a blood clot may form on top of the buildup, further blocking blood flow. Or, a blood clot can break off and flow to an artery in another part of the body. If a clot completely blocks an artery feeding your heart, you have a heart attack.
By Dr. Mercola
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are among the most widely prescribed drugs on the market, with one in four Americans over 45 taking them. This already inflated number is set to increase significantly, however, courtesy of controversial revised cholesterol-treatment guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) last year.
The guidelines were met with fierce debate because they loosened the definition of who would qualify for statin drug treatment to prevent heart disease, greatly increasing the number of people who would be eligible for treatment.
The guidelines, which previously focused on cholesterol levels, now focus on risk factors, as determined by a flawed online calculator that may not accurately gauge heart-disease risk at all.
Adding to the debate, researchers from Duke University have calculated exactly how many more Americans may find themselves eligible for statin drugs under the less strict guidelines… and the results are astounding.
Half of Older Adults Should Take Statins Under New Guidelines
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys of 2005 to 2010, the researchers estimated the number of people for whom statin therapy would be recommended under the new ACC-AHA guidelines.
Compared with the older guidelines, the new recommendations would increase the number of US adults ages 40 to 75 eligible for statin therapy from 43.2 million to 56 million, with most of the increase occurring among adults without heart disease. This equates to nearly half of the US population between the ages of 40 and 75!
Among older adults (those between the ages of 60 and 75), the percentage eligible for statins would increase from 30 percent to 87 percent among men and from 21 percent to 54 percent among women. According to the study, this drastic rise would be driven largely by risk determined solely by their 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event – a measure that has been heavily criticized by experts (as I’ll discuss shortly).
In short, the new guidelines would increase those eligible for statins in the US by 12.8 million, with most of the rise seen in older adults without heart disease. As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine:
“…the new guidelines would recommend statin therapy for more adults who would be expected to have future cardiovascular events (higher sensitivity) but would also include many adults who would not have future events (lower specificity).”
Heart Disease Is Not the Result of a Statin ‘Deficiency’
It’s a slippery slope when we begin to put stock in medications as the “key” to preventing lifestyle-based diseases like heart disease. I do not foresee the end result of medicating virtually every adult American being a good one… It is obvious to anyone that understands natural health that this is a disaster in the works, as the evidence of harm from statins is overwhelming. Statins have nothing to do with reducing your heart disease risk. In fact, as mentioned this class of drugs can increase your heart disease risk—especially if you do not take Ubiquinol (CoQ10) along with it to mitigate the depletion of CoQ10 caused by the drug.
Poor lifestyle choices are primarily to blame for increased heart disease risk, such as eating too much sugar, getting too little exercise, lack of sun exposure and rarely or never grounding to the earth. These are all things that are within your control, are safe (i.e. no side effects), and don’t cost much (if any) money to address. If you want to prevent heart disease, you basically need to do the converse of what conventional medicine tells you. Resist falling for the hype that you need drugs to keep your heart healthy. There are far better ways. In short, to prevent heart disease:
- DO eat unprocessed saturated animal and vegetable fats, and don’t listen to the media, as you can benefit profoundly from consuming them. Many may also benefit from increasing the healthful fat in their diet to 50-85 percent of daily calories
- AVOID all sugars, including processed fructose and grains, if you are insulin and leptin resistant. It doesn’t matter if they are conventional or organic, as a high-sugar diet promotes insulin and leptin resistance, which is a primary driver of heart disease
- DO exercise regularly, as physical activity along with a healthy diet of whole, preferably organic, foods may be just as potent—if not more potent—than cholesterol-lowering drugs. High-intensity interval training, which requires but a fraction of the time compared to conventional cardio, has been shown to be especially effective
- AVOID statins, as the side effects of these drugs are numerous, while the benefits are debatable. In my view, the only group of people who may benefit from a cholesterol-lowering medication are those with genetic familial hypercholesterolemia. This is a condition characterized by abnormally high cholesterol, which tends to be resistant to lowering with lifestyle strategies like diet and exercise
Make sure to read the rest of the article Source.
You can outsmart high cholesterol. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and take medicine as your doctor recommends to lower your levels. The first step: Ask your doctor if it’s time for you to have a fasting cholesterol blood test. If they're high, ask your doctor what numbers are ideal for you based on your personal health and risk factors. Also ask how often you need the test.