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High cholesterol level

Learn About Statins and the Way It Controls Cholesterol

Statins are a class of drugs that help in lowering cholesterol levels in the human body. These drugs function by blocking the action of a liver enzyme that produces cholesterol. By lowering its levels, statin drugs reduce the risk of heart attacks because the amount of plaque in the arteries is reduced [1].  According to a 2014 report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 25% of Americans over the age of 40 consume a statin [2]. Studies show that this drug is commonly prescribed because of its effectiveness and its ability to reabsorb cholesterol from the arteries.
Furthermore, these drugs are directly linked with reducing the risk for heart attack and stroke [3]. This is because statins prevent the development of atherosclerosis, which is a condition that causes cholesterol-containing plaques to form within the human body. These plaques occur due to high levels of cholesterol and if they continue to develop, blockages in the arteries can cause reduced blood flow to the heart. Introducing a statin not only inhibits this action, it also provides continued facilitation for patients with risks of other heart diseases.
It is important that there be guidelines for cholesterol reduction because many of the small details of statin drug function still remain undiscovered [2]. This is main reason for hesitation from doctors when prescribing statins, as they consider numerous other factors that can contribute to lowering cholesterol without medication. One example includes altering lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a special diet and workout routines in order to maximize cholesterol reduction. Although statin drugs may do all of the grunt work in reducing cholesterol, these additional factors should be considered in order to receive the best results.
 
[1] Cholesterol & Triglycerides Health Center: Side Effects of Cholesterol-Lowering Statin Drugs. WebMD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/side-effects-of-statin-drugs
[2] Statins Often Interact With Other Heart Drugs. Norton, Amy. WebMD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20161017/statins-often-interact-with-other-heart-drugs#1
[3] Cholesterol Medications. American Heart Association. Retrieved from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/PreventionTreatmentofHighCholesterol/Cholesterol-Medications_UCM_305632_Article.jsp#.WBjOaWf4OHs

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