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Elevated blood cholesterol levels are associated with a significant increase in risk for heart attack, Australia’s number one killer of both men and women.

The number one method for management of elevated cholesterol is via the use of medication known as statins – drugs designed to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Recent evidence suggests however that both men and women place too much faith in the ability of statins to lower their risk of both heart disease and heart attack, with statins contributing to a minimisation but not elimination of risk

Additionally, side effects associated with statin use can include stomach irritation, muscle pain, muscle and or liver damage, and long term use is also associated with more than double the risk of breast cancer in women.

In medical research trials however, diet has been shown to lower risk of heart attack risk by up to 95%, with researchers suggesting that the safest and most effective form of management for elevated cholesterol, and the most effective management for lowering cholesterol and heart attack risk, is dietary change.

Have a look at the following 4 minute you tube clip which gives an overview of the effectiveness, and side effects of statins:

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fully-consensual-heart-disease-treatment/

References:

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  2. W. P. Castelli. The new pathophysiology of coronary artery disease. The American journal of cardiology 1998 82(10):60 – 65.
  3. P Christine. Communicating Evidence in Shared Decision Making. Virtual Mentor 2013 15:9-17.

V. E. Friedewald, W. E. Boden, G. W. Stone, C. W. Yancy, W. C. Roberts. The editor’s roundtable: Role of percutaneous coronary intervention and drug-eluting stents in patients with stable coronary heart disease. Am. J. Cardiol. 2011 108(10):1417 – 1425.
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  5. E. Bruckert, D. Pouchain, S. Auboiron, C. Mulet. Cross-analysis of dietary prescriptions and adherence in 356 hypercholesterolaemic patients. Arch Cardiovasc Dis 2012 105(11):557 – 565.
  6. L. R. Erhardt, F. D. R. Hobbs. A global survey of physicians’ perceptions on cholesterol management: The From The Heart study. Int. J. Clin. Pract. 2007 61(7):1078 – 1085.
  7. P Ray. Withholding information from patients (therapeutic privilege). Report of the council on ethical and judicial affairs CEJA Report 2-A-06.

AMA. The AMA code of medical ethics’ opinion on informing patients about treatment options. Virtual Mentor 2013 15:1.
  8. C. B. Esselstyn Jr, R. G. Favaloro. Introduction: More than coronary artery disease. The Am. J. of Cardiol. 1998 82(10):5 – 9.
  9. T. C. Campbell, B. Parpia, J. Chen. Diet, lifestyle, and the etiology of coronary artery disease: The Cornell China study. Am. J. of Cardiol. 1998 82(10):18 – 21.
  10. N J Stone. A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association task force on practice guidelines. ACC/AHA 2013 1-85.
  11. L. M. Delahanty, D. Hayden, A. Ammerman, D. M. Nathan. Medical nutrition therapy for hypercholesterolemia positively affects patient satisfaction and quality of life outcomes. Ann Behav Med 2002 24(4):269 – 278.
  12. G. Weidner, S. L. Connor, J. F. Hollis, W. E. Connor. Improvements in hostility and depression in relation to dietary change and cholesterol lowering. The Family Heart Study. Ann. Intern. Med. 1992 117(10):820 – 823.

13. C. B. Esselstyn. Foreword: Changing the treatment paradigm for coronary artery disease. Am. J. of Cardiol. Supplement 1998.

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