If you are a patient being treated for dyslipidemia, you already know a little bit about cholesterol issues and how they can affect your health. Recently, the NLA has released the ‘National Lipid Association Recommendations for Patient-Centered Management of Dyslipidemia.’ This document was created to help your health care team best treat and manage “you” as a patient in their practice. The goal of the NLA recommendations is to enhance the message that heart disease can be prevented by knowing your risk and taking practical approaches to achieve your goal.
What do you need to know about preventing heart disease?
The National Lipid Association encourages you to discuss with your health care provider what your risk is for developing heart disease, and whether this can be treated through diet and exercise or, if risk is high enough, to consider an appropriate level of drug treatment. Your provider should discuss your individual risk factors, which are conditions or habits that make you more likely to develop heart disease, and establish a treatment goal for LDL-C and the non-HDL cholesterol which along with exercise and diet are known to further prevent heart disease. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes, family history, and diet and exercise.
Since a healthy diet, weight management, regular exercise and smoking cessation are the cornerstones of heart disease prevention you should discuss a lifestyle strategy which includes your personal level of intensity of physical activity with your provider.
Depending on your risk level, your provider may also discuss the benefits and the risks of taking a drug (like statins) to control your cholesterol level.
We at the NLA believe that you are unique and that your healthcare provider should focus on the particular risk factors that you or your family members have, mainly high levels of cholesterol,. We believe that individual goals are necessary to assure high quality of care and provide you and your healthcare provider opportunities for face to face discussion to increase the chances of success in reducing your cardiovascular risk.