Statin therapy plays a pivotal role in managing cardiovascular disease by reducing cholesterol levels and decreasing the risks of heart attack, stroke, and other health complications related to atherosclerosis.
Dr. Yogesh Paliwal and our team at Indus Cardiology in Pomona, Montclair, and West Covina, California, specialize in diagnosing and treating heart disease. We’re also fully committed to preventing its health complications whenever possible.
Read the basics about statin therapy, how it works, and why our team may recommend it for managing your risks of heart attack and stroke.
Understanding cholesterol and atherosclerosis
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is vital for various bodily functions. However, elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as "bad" cholesterol, can contribute to plaque formation in arteries, leading to atherosclerosis.
This condition narrows and hardens the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
How statin therapy works
Statin medications work by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, a key player in the liver's production of cholesterol. By blocking this enzyme, statins reduce the synthesis of cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol.
Additionally, statins may have anti-inflammatory and plaque-stabilizing effects, contributing to cardiovascular benefits.
Benefits of statin therapy
Our Indus Cardiology team considers these benefits when determining whether statin therapy might be right for you:
The primary benefit of statins is their ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels, which is crucial for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events.
Cardiovascular risk reduction
Statin therapy has been associated with a significant reduction in the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues.
Health factors that may influence Dr. Paliwal’s decision to recommend statin therapy include:
- Excessively elevated LDL cholesterol (190 mg/dL or higher)
- History of heart attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease
- Higher risk of heart attack due to hypertension (high blood pressure), increased LDL, smoking, etc.
- History of diabetes
When combined with a healthy diet, routine exercise, and effective management of high-risk conditions such as diabetes or elevated blood pressure, statins can effectively lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Beyond cholesterol reduction, statins may help stabilize existing plaques in the arteries, making them less prone to rupture and life-threatening events.
How do I know statin therapy is right for me?
Your experience at Indus Cardiology starts with a thorough evaluation that includes a physical exam, lab studies, and a careful medical history review.
Based on these results, Dr. Paliwal completes a risk assessment before prescribing statin therapy. Other factors he may consider include your age, lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise, and family history.
Once you’ve started statin therapy, Dr. Paliwal monitors your progress carefully with follow-up labs to monitor its effectiveness. He also develops a comprehensive strategy that may include dietary changes, weight reduction, stress management, and increased physical activity to help prevent or stall the progression of cardiovascular disease.
Schedule an evaluation at Indus Cardiology by calling the nearest office today.