Posts Tagged ‘Pravacol’

Clip Art for American Heart Month

February is Heart Month. Many factors other than genetics influence heart health. High levels of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol increase cardiovascular risks. Statins are the most effective classification of drugs and frequently considered the best option for lowering LDL levels. They act in the body by reducing an enzyme needed to create cholesterol. Less LDL cholesterol helps to prevent buildup of fatty substances in the arteries called plaque.

More than 33 million people take some form of statin medications, with nearly half of the population over age 75 taking some form of the drug. Some of the most commonly recognized statins on the market include Crestor, Lipitor, Pravachol, Zocor, and others.

Statins are safe and effective for most people, but like many drugs, they may pose risks for some. Among the adverse effects are memory loss, mental confusion, increased blood sugar, and serious muscle problems.

While statins save many lives of people with cardiovascular difficulties, are they the best option for everyone? A recent study followed thirty-seven overweight subjects for three months. All gradually increased treadmill exercise up to 45 minutes a day for five days per week. Half of the subjects received a statin, and half did not. The LDL cholesterol levels dropped 40 percent in those taking statins while they increased slightly in the non-statin group. Cardio fitness increased 1.5 percent in the statin group compared to an increase of ten percent in the non-statin group. So while statins lowered LDL in the experimental group, cardio fitness was greater in those who exercised but did not take statins.

When it comes to heart health, no drug is a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. After cessation of smoking, appropriate exercise and eating remain two changes that promote heart health. While statins may be appropriate for great numbers of the population with serious heart conditions, others may fare better with altered lifestyles. As this February Heart Month draws to a close, remember if we want to stay healthier and live longer, the option is ours. When statins aren’t the best choice, either eat healthy foods and move that body or plan for an earlier demise.




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