Americans Lower Cholesterol with Medicine, Not Discipline

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Adults in the United States are more likely to control their cholesterolby taking medications than by making lifestyle changesrecommended by their physicians.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,as reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association(October 12, 2005), showed that the decreases in adultcholesterol levels stem more from the use of cholesterol-loweringdrugs and less from positive lifestyle changes. Among patientsaged 45 years and older, there was an increase in the number ofdoctor and hospital visits where statins were prescribed.

The report warned that the steady increase in US obesity ratesmight dull the effects of lower cholesterol. The investigators cited aslight increase in serum triglyceride levels among US adults, anotherindicator of potential heart trouble. Rather than using medicinealone, the researchers advise taking the following steps toward ahealthy lifestyle: reducing fat and cholesterol intake, achieving andmaintaining a healthy body weight, and exercising more.