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Not knowing the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood can contribute to the development of up to 60% of heart attacks and 40% of strokes & More Latest News Here

 

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) continue to be the main cause of death in our country. This is what the data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) say: one in four deaths is due to CVD. From Cardioalianza they also clarify that atherosclerosis or accumulation of lipids over time in the wall of the arteries, it is responsible for 85% of deaths related to circulatory diseases.

Atherosclerosis appears as a result of the accumulation of fat, calcium and especially cholesterol. Thus, hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol is the main cause of atherosclerosis and its lack of control in the blood can contribute to the development of up to 60% of heart attacks or angina pectoris and 40% of strokes.

silent disease

What is known is that hypercholesterolemia is a silent disease which, despite affecting 50.5% of the adult population according to the ENRICA study, does not cause any symptoms. Even when it has already been diagnosed, unlike hypertension, its symptoms are invisible, until an ischemic event occurs, for example. In this sense, a survey carried out by Cardioalianza (a state entity that brings together 18 cardiovascular patient organizations) of patients who had suffered a cardiovascular event revealed that 1 in 10 participants did not know if they had a high level of LDL cholesterol in the blood.

A Cardioalianza survey showed that 1 in 10 participants did not know if they had a high level of LDL cholesterol in their blood.

For Maite San Saturnino, president of Cardioalianza, knowing the level of total cholesterol is a useful marker for screening cardiovascular risk in the population: “It has been shown that people with total blood cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dl they have twice the risk of suffering a myocardial infarction than those with figures of 200 mg/dl. Thus, if the levels exceed 200 mg / dl, a more in-depth study is recommended to measure the different cholesterol fractions, ”he explains.

Knowing the total cholesterol level is a useful marker for screening cardiovascular risk in the population.


Lack of awareness and tools

From Cardioalianza they point out two main problems of hypercholesterolemia. On the one hand, the lack of awareness on the part of society about the risk associated with having it, and on the other hand, there is a high percentage of patients with very high and high cardiovascular risk that are not well controlled. Regarding the latter, despite the fact that treatment with lipid-lowering drugs (resins, statins, ezetimibe, iPCSK9) in patients with established CVD decreases major cardiovascular events and mortality, more than 80% of European patients with established cardiovascular disease do not meet the cholesterol goals recommended in clinical guidelines, according to the results ofThe DA VINCI study.

The IMPROVE-IT study revealed that only 37% of patients treated after an acute coronary syndrome reach target levels of LDL cholesterol.

In addition, the IMPROVE-IT study revealed that only 37% of patients treated after a acute coronary syndrome reach the target levels of LDL cholesterol. “It cannot be that there are patients who, despite being under medical treatment and follow-up, do not reach the optimal levels of LDL cholesterol that the clinical practice guidelines set. As patients, we urge the administration to provide both health professionals and patients themselves with the necessary tools to guarantee a good cholesterol control”.

Given these data, Dr. Xavier Garcia-Moll, Head of Hospitalization of the Cardiology Service at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, ​​highlights that, “all the medical specialties that treat these patients must go in unison, with common objectives, to reduce the impact of high cholesterol, improve life expectancy and quality of life.

“All the medical specialties that treat these patients must go in unison, with common goals, to reduce the impact of high cholesterol, improve life expectancy and quality of life.”

Proposals

To improve the control of hypercholesterolemia, the entity representing cardiovascular patients in our country requires:

  • Promote healthy lifestyle strategies in childhood, that value the need to adopt a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables, as well as regular exercise, to prevent the appearance of cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood.
  • Educate in health, integrating prevention in all areas (health, social, labour, sports, education, etc.). In addition to promoting the creation of campaigns and strategies that promote cardiovascular prevention in general and, specifically, hypercholesterolemia.
  • Secure and facilitate tools to improve coordination between all the agents involved in the management of patients with hypercholesterolemia: both health professionals (primary and hospital care) and the patients themselves, as co-responsible for their own health care.
  • Extend the use of guidelines and pharmacological therapies that achieve this noticeable reduction in LDL levels such as statins, their association with cholesterol absorption inhibitors and protein convertase subtilisin/kesin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors. Patients have the right to receive the best treatment possible.

“Patient entities play a very important role as social agents and collaborators of the Administration and health professionals in prevention, which is the main pillar that must be addressed for the control of CVD”, concludes Maite Saturnino.

Not knowing the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood can contribute to the development of up to 60% of heart attacks and 40% of strokes
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