This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. Personal opinions and thoughts are my own.
Some things are more fun to talk about than others, and unfortunately that means that too many people avoid the not-so-fun topics. However, talking about the things we try to avoid can sometimes lead to life changing realizations.
For example, did you know that more than 100 million U.S. adults have high cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease – the leading cause of death in America?
I sometimes feel as though people have the wrong idea about who can be affected by high cholesterol. My mother is 67 and in great shape for her age. She isn’t overweight and doesn’t eat a lot of junk or fried foods, yet she has high cholesterol and is taking a statin, which doctors prescribe to lower high cholesterol levels. My sister-in-law also has high cholesterol and she is a fitness instructor. She eats healthier and works out more than just about anybody I know. What this tells me is that high cholesterol can affect anyone of any age or gender.
The medication my mother is currently on is working great for her, but what if it wasn’t? Would she have known that there were choices? Or would she have been like the statistics and simply stopped taking it because of unwanted side effects? That’s what makes this topic so important to me!
Despite the fact that statins are proven to lower cholesterol and fight heart disease, surprisingly, up to 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.
To understand more about why people stop taking their statin, a recent poll* of more than 5,000 Americans aged 45 + with high cholesterol called the ACTION: The Statin Survey, discovered some interesting findings
- 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:
I wanted to write this post for my readers because I feel like Take Cholesterol to Heart reminds us all of the importance of taking care of ourselves and asking the right questions when visiting our doctors. Often times when I visit my doctor, I assume he/she has all the answers. Therefore, I don’t do my own research when it comes to what the best treatment may be for me. This doesn’t mean I want everyone to grab their computers and start diagnosing themselves on Google. However, I do want to help arm myself and others with knowledge that we may not have been aware of when I can.
What I love is that there is something that can be done to help educate yourself. Take Cholesterol to Heart helps others to understand what questions to ask when visiting their physician. Finding the correct medication for each individual can be frustrating, especially when they don’t realize they have a choice. With the help offered through Take Cholesterol to Heart, hopefully some of the frustration and confusion can be cleared up.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope that it helps even one of my readers that may have questions about high cholesterol and the use of statins.
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.
Please feel free to leave comments in the section below.
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.