Cholesterol 4
Thursday, September 3, 2009

The statins are a group of drugs used to lower blood cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that this medication can reduce a personís risk of heart attack and stroke. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about statins in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Statins block or inhibit an enzyme the body needs to produce cholesterol. As a result, LDL cholesterol levels in the blood go down, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol levels.

Statins may also affect levels of certain clotting factors in the blood and lower the risk of clot formation. Lowering the risk of clot formation is important because clots can lead to heart attack or stroke. Statins also have anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.

Studies have shown that by lowering LDL cholesterol levels, statins reduce the risk of heart attack and death in people with known heart disease and in people at high risk for coronary artery disease.

These studies indicate that, with the use of statins, LDL cholesterol can be reduced by 18 percent to 55 percent. The newer, more potent statins can reduce LDL cholesterol levels even further. HDL, or good cholesterol, can be increased by 5 percent to 15 percent.

As good as these drugs are, all drugs have side effects so heed the warnings.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.