This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. Personal opinions and thoughts are my own.
I always considered my mom to be quite healthy. She was trim, took few medications and had excellent medical check-ups. When she told me she was taking a statin medication for high cholesterol, I was surprised. How could that be? She rarely ate fried or fatty foods. Wasn’t that what caused high cholesterol? Her doctor explained high cholesterol could be genetic as well. Her dad and grandfather had it.
She encouraged me to have my cholesterol levels checked. Sure enough, I had high cholesterol too. My doctor encouraged me to change my diet to manage my high cholesterol levels it. Although that helped, it was not enough. He prescribed a statin medication. Statins can help lower cholesterol levels in your blood. He further explained high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is also the leading cause of death in America. This scared me! I have been taking my statin
medication ever since, and my levels are within the normal range. Whew!
I was floored to learn that more than 100 million U.S. adults have high cholesterol. To lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease, doctors often prescribe a statin. Despite the fact that statins are proven to lower cholesterol and fight heart disease, surprisingly, at least 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 doctor, like I did with mine, 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 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 motivates 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:
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.
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,