Letter: The truth about cholesterol
Vail, CO Colorado
Regarding the article “Understanding what your cholesterol means” by Eliza Klearman in the Feb. 11 Vail Daily:
Dr. Klearman has raised important questions: For whom are cholesterol-lowering medications indicated? And how best to reduce your risk of heart disease? First, some minor corrections. In my book, “Overdosed America,” I explain that the national guidelines that doctors follow for cholesterol-lowering falsely claim that clinical trials show that statins are beneficial for women of any age or men over 65 at risk of but without heart disease or diabetes. Although studies have included people without heart disease, no clinical trial has ever shown a benefit for these people, and the misinformation in the guidelines is leading to many millions of Americans being treated with cholesterol-lowering medication.
So how best to reduce your risk of developing heart disease? We need to follow the advice of our grandparents (or perhaps now its great grandparents): exercise regularly, eat a health diet (5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, whole grains, little to no refined sugar or sweeteners, and minimize the animal fats), don’t smoke, drink in moderation, and maintain a healthy body weight.
The healthcare industry would like you to think that getting the right tests and taking the right medications and supplements is the path to good health. For most of us, the real path is understanding that most of our health is determined by how we live our lives.
Talk to your primary care physician or naturopath if, like many of us, you need help making positive changes. And most of all understand that the real path to good health is to take back responsibility for yourself and your family.
John Abramson MD Clinical Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Author, Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine