(BPT) - What happens when you bring four friends, an order of fried chicken and an opinionated waiter together? While well-meaning, this waiter knows a thing or two about high cholesterol management, and he intends to make his feelings known about the importance of sticking with a doctor-prescribed statin.

More than 102 million Americans are living with high cholesterol, yet only 45% of current statin users say they openly communicate with their physician about the statin challenges they face.1 That’s a staggering number of people who are not having the crucial conversation with their doctor to help identify a statin that might be a better fit for them. Even more alarming is the fact that at least 50% of people stop taking their statin within 1 year of starting it, many of whom do so without consulting their doctor first.1 When left unmanaged, high cholesterol can have serious consequences, and those who stop their statin on their own could be putting themselves at risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

To help educate those with high cholesterol about the importance of talking to a doctor about switching statins before they stop, Take Cholesterol to Heart, a national education campaign from Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., has issued a public service announcement (PSA) to reach potential patients who may be experiencing challenges with their current statin treatment.

The goal of Take Cholesterol to Heart is to increase public understanding of high cholesterol as a key risk factor for heart disease and to provide strategies that empower people to stay on their doctor-prescribed statin medication. While smart lifestyle choices can help to manage high cholesterol, this may not be enough for some people to reach their cholesterol goals. For those folks, a doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication called a statin in addition to a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise.

While all statins aim to reduce high cholesterol, they are not all processed the same way. Certain factors can determine how an individual’s body breaks down a statin, including other medical conditions, age, ethnicity and lifestyle factors, and can vary from person to person. Other medications or supplements a patient is taking can also affect how they process statins; some statins may increase the potential risk of drug-to-drug interactions, and the average statin user is taking nearly eight other medications and supplements. If a patient is experiencing side effects or discomfort while taking their statin, it is important for them to share these complaints with their doctor. Many are unaware that there are multiple statins available, as these diners soon learned, and by maintaining an open dialogue with their doctor, people can help ensure that they are on the statin that may be best for them.

So before you stop your statin on your own, talk to your doctor about which statin may be right for you. Visit TakeCholesteroltoHeart.com to learn more.

References

[1]Brinton EA. Understanding Patient Adherence and Concerns with STatins and MedicatION Discussions With Physicians (ACTION): A survey on the patient perspective of dialogue with healthcare providers regarding statin therapy. Clinical Cardiology. 2018;41(6):710-720. doi:10.1002/clc.22975.

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