How to Fight High Cholesterol and Support Those Who Have It

This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. Personal opinions and thoughts are my own.

As I get older, I am more focused than ever on taking care of my health. High cholesterol is something that runs in my family and something I work hard to avoid. High cholesterol affects so many people. Whether you have it or know someone who does, it is not something to take lightly. More than 100 million U.S. adults have high cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease. This is frightening because heart disease is the leading cause of death in America.

I want to do whatever I can to help educate people and motivate them to take control and lower their cholesterol. I encourage you to do the same. It all starts with being aware and educated. To lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease, doctors often prescribe a medicine called a statin. Despite the fact that statins are proven to lower cholesterol and fight heart disease, surprisingly, at least 50 percent of people stop taking their statin within one year of starting it.

The good news is there are multiple statins available, and by talking to your doctors, it’s possible to switch to a different statin that can help you specifically.

It is hard for me to fully understand why people would stop taking their statin. In a recent poll* of more than 5,000 Americans aged 45 + with high cholesterol called the ACTION: The Statin Survey, discovered some interesting findings on why this happens:

Only one third (33 percent) of people say their healthcare provider explained why that particular statin was being prescribed when they were first prescribed a statin

  • Just 21 percent of patients say that their healthcare provider told them that there are different types of statins available when first prescribed a statin
  • Roughly a quarter of patients (24 percent) currently taking a statin say they had challenges with the first statin they took
  • Only 18 percent of people say they were told that their prescribed statin medicine could potentially interact with other medications and dietary supplements

I am proud to support a new educational campaign called Take Cholesterol to Heart to help people understand their treatment options for high cholesterol and motivate them to speak up if they are thinking about stopping their statin.  Take Cholesterol to Heart provides great tools and strategies to help people “master the cholesterol conversation” with their doctor. As you may know, there are multiple statin medicines, so it’s important to talk regularly with your doctor about your treatment plan, including a statin, that is right for you.

Regis Philbin, TV legend and heart disease survivor, joined Take Cholesterol to Heart to share his experience having a conversation with his doctor about high cholesterol and finding the right statin for him. Check out his story in this short video:

It honestly makes me so emotional thinking about my family members who deal with high cholesterol. It is important that we are educated and informed so we, as their loved ones, can be the encouragement they need to keep themselves on track. It is never easy dealing with health issues, but we can support those who need us.

If you or someone you love takes a statin, please visit TakeCholesterolToHeart.com for a number of helpful resources, including a doctor/patient discussion guide, a quiz on statins and tips for caregivers.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and should not be construed to constitute medical advice. My personal story and opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional and am not qualified to give medical advice. Please talk with your doctor about your individual medical situation.

* Harris Poll conducted ACTION: The Statin Survey (Understanding Patient Adherence and Concerns with Statins, and Medication Discussions with Physicians) online on behalf of Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., within the United States from July 7- August 4, 2017, among 5,014 U.S. adults aged 45 or older, who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, and have ever used a statin to treat high cholesterol. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Erin Bittner at W2O Group, 212-301-7226.

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Sarah Ruhlman is the founder and editor of Sarah Scoop.com. Sarah is a lifestyle blogger, online influencer and television personality. Email sarah@sarahscoop.com to connect and work together.
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