Creating individualized treatment plans to maintain good heart health and manage cholesterol

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 5:27 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - High cholesterol, which affects more than 95 million Americans, is a silent and major risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. High cholesterol may lead to increased cardiovascular risk if left undetected and untreated. It can, however, be managed with an individualized treatment plan created by a doctor, including a heart-healthy diet and 40 minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity exercise or activity 3-4 times per week. Doctors may also prescribe a statin if healthy lifestyle changes aren’t effectively getting cholesterol under control.

For those managing high cholesterol with a prescribed statin, it’s not only important to regularly take their medication, but to also discuss how they are doing on the statin with their doctor. Often patients are having concerns and stop taking their statin without consulting their doctor, which may lead to serious health consequences.

On Monday Dr. Michael Blaha, cardiologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to discuss how high cholesterol may lead to heart disease and how finding the right statin therapy can be a critical part of achieving lower cholesterol levels.


  • High cholesterol can build up in the body’s arteries, potentially slowing down and even blocking the flow of blood which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
  • Among patients prescribed a statin, studies indicate that more than half stop taking that statin within the first year. Rather than stopping their medication, patients should raise any concerns about their statin with their doctor.
  • Approximately 38.6 million Americans take a statin, with over one-fourth of Americans over 40 currently on a statin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Not all statins are the same. There are several statins available, but what works for one patient’s unique needs may differ for another.

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