Harvard Health Letter unravels new cholesterol guidelines

Published: August, 2004

( Boston , MA ) A federal panel of experts released cholesterol reducing guideline revisions in July. The overall message on "bad" LDL cholesterol is that lower is better and how low depends on your cardiovascular risk factors. The September issue of the Harvard Health Letter unravels the new guidelines and provides answers to the LDL-level discussion.

Currently, the average American LDL level is about 130. The new guidelines decrease the thresholds for prescribing cholesterol-lowering medications so that more people may be prescribed statins to meet LDL targets. The Health Letter notes that if recommended target LDL levels continue to decrease, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs will continue to become part of a daily routine for more and more people.

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