Did you know that 71 million (33.5%) of adult Americans have elevated bad cholesterol? While this issue is a prevalent one, it’s hard to detect because there are no symptoms for high cholesterol.
Although many people are aware of good and bad cholesterol, most are unaware of the threat of high triglycerides. Elevated triglycerides increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Unfortunately, just like with high cholesterol, there are no symptoms for high triglycerides.
Read on to learn more about Gary’s personal experience with heart disease, high cholesterol and high triglycerides; as well as, how our research is helping to advance new medical treatments in these areas.
Gary’s Personal Journey through Health-Related Challenges
Q:Tell us about yourself and what heart disease risks you have.
A: My name is Gary and I’m a sixty-one year old male with three challenges in my life. I have diabetes. I have had heart surgery, so I’ve had some heart issues. And I also have high cholesterol.
Q:How did you find out about your heart and cholesterol issues?
A:Although I didn’t know what the symptoms for high cholesterol was, I found out from my blood tests that my cholesterol and other lipids were not within the range needed for my health to remain.
Q:How did you begin working towards improving your heart and cholesterol health?
A:I had heart surgery, a triple coronary bypass graft, and after I recovered from that I started to see a doctor regularly. I saw a cardiologist first and then a regular doctor. I’ve had regular checkups and I’m also taking medication. And I’m also exercising.
Fact:The first step in improving lipids is making lifestyle changes, like weight loss and exercise. In addition, your doctor may recommend statin medications, fibrates (i.e. Tricor), Fish Oil or Niacin to treat these conditions.
Clinical Research Expert Dr. Joseph Soufer’s Take on What is Happening in the Medical Research Arena for Patients With These Conditions
Medical Director and CEO of Chase Medical Research (CMR), Dr. Joseph Soufer says that what CMR is looking at now is patients who have heart disease but well-controlled bad cholesterol, with poor good cholesterol and high triglycerides.
There is more to learn about the relationship between heart disease, cholesterol and triglycerides. As Dr. Soufer states, “What we’re trying to determine is whether or not by reducing their triglycerides has an impact on reducing the mortality of patients who do have risk of heart disease. By answering this question we will then be able to determine whether or not additional medication to help bring down triglycerides would be worthwhile for patients who do have underlying history of diabetes, heart disease or stroke in the past.”