The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association just released new cardiac prevention guidelines. The new guidelines for cholesterol are less focused on lab results and achieving target numbers; instead the guidelines focus on an individual’s risk for developing heart disease. The guidelines look at specific risk factors to determine who should treat their cholesterol with lifestyle changes and who should use statin drugs. If a person has heart disease, diabetes, LDL (bad cholesterol) over 190, and a 10year heart attack risk greater than 7.5%, then the guidelines state they should be on a statin. So, in a nutshell, the guideline is saying to stop being obessesd with your cholesterol levels and instead know your risk of developing heart disease; if you are at risk, then use statin drugs.
Additionally, the new guidelines advocate the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet, and a reduction in saturated fat and trans fat and sodium. Further, it advises doctors to recommend weight loss programs for 6 months for their patients who are overweight or obese.