Hypercholesterolemia: a High Level of Cholesterol
Hypercholesterolemia refers to a high level of cholesterol in the blood. This health condition occurs when the inner walls of blood vessels accumulate and store too much cholesterol, which is released to the bloodstream when it reaches excessive levels (Vettor & Serra, 2018). Coronary arteries, the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart, are involved in this condition. With time, there occurs a plaque, which is an abnormal buildup of cholesterol, thereby, narrowing and hardening coronary artery walls and leading to hypercholesterolemia.
Statins are a common treatment for hypercholesterolemia in adults, but it is not the right course because of its side effects. The first one is increased blood sugar, which may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against statin use among older adults because of its harm to them (Kleipool et al., 2019). The other one is liver damage as statins slowly lead to its inflammation. When the elderly use statins to treat hypercholesterolemia, they increase the liver’s enzyme levels, causing irritation. The last one is muscle pain and damage, a common complaint among people taking statins (Kleipool et al., 2019). Therefore, statins should not be prescribed to adults with hypercholesterolemia with or without any evidence of heart disease.
If teenagers are diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia, then they should be prescribed statins. This prescription is incredibly helpful to those children with abnormally high cholesterol, which has resulted from a genetic condition. According to Vettor and Serra (2018), teenagers with familial hypercholesterolemia can benefit from the use of statins. It has been established that initiating the use of this option early in life will have a notably positive impact on the affected teenagers.
However, even among teenagers, statin use has some side effects. For this reason, it is advisable to follow the route of the novel LDL-C-lowering agents. This approach acts to lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream via a mechanism other than that of statins. This approach is also helpful in those older adults with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (Vettor & Serra, 2018). It is also advisable for those teenagers who are not tolerant of statins. Therefore, this is a better option for these situations, and it is recommended for prescription across ages.
Kleipool, E. E., Dorresteijn, J. A., Smulders, Y. M., Visseren, F. L., Peters, M. J., & Muller, M. (2019). Treatment of hypercholesterolaemia in older adults calls for a patient-centred approach. Heart, 106(4), 261-266. Web.
Vettor, R., & Serra, R. (2018). Management of hypercholesterolemia, appropriateness of therapeutic approaches and new drugs in patients with high cardiovascular risk. Italian Journal of Medicine, 12(3), 203-212. Web.
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