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41 PRACTICAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HYPERTENSION AND HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA - 2008

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  • Just like in the case of hypertension, treatment of high cholesterol is lifelong, with only a few exceptions.
  • The criterion for the commencement of drug treatment is based on LDLcholesterol levels and not on total cholesterol or HDL-cholesterol.
  • The decision to prescribe drugs is based not solely on the level of LDL-cholesterol but also on the level of the total estimated risk (of cardiovascular incidents) of each patient. For example, a patient with an LDL-cholesterol level of 120 mg/dl and a history of a prior myocardial infarction or a stroke will need drug treatment. On the contrary, a young man with an LDL-cholesterol level of 160 mg/dl but without any other risk factors (no prior myocardial infarction, no hypertension, no diabetes, a non-smoker etc.) may just need to modify his lifestyle to include exercise and a healthy diet. The physician will decide on the duration of this period as well as how and when the drug treatment will start.
  • The same guidelines of treatment apply to the elderly, as long as they are in good shape and no other severe health problems coexist.

WRITING GROUP
G. Stergiou, Chairman
A. Achimastos
E. Andreadis
I. Avramopoulos
M. Elissaf
N. Karatzas
T. Mountokalakis
D. Papadogiannis
K. Siamopoulos
E. Varsamis
K. Vemmos
D. Vlahakos