Right now cholesterol levels greater than 200 are classified as borderline high. Typically, individuals with cholesterol levels between 200 and 240 are advised by their physicians to modify their diet and to exercise. Usually these behavior modifications reduce the cholesterol levels to below 200, or normal. Science has shown us that cholesterol levels greater than 200 greatly increase an individual’s risks for significant cardiac disease. However, there are a growing number of medical experts who believe that anyone, regardless of age, with cholesterol levels above 200 should be put on cholesterol lowering drugs (so called “statin” drugs). They recommend this intervention above diet modification and exercise. There are no studies on the effects of long-term cholesterol drug use. In addition, these drugs are costly and can have numerous side effects. What are your thoughts about the drug intervention recommendation? Do you think that Americans with elevated cholesterol levels will have the discipline to modify their lifestyle adequately to achieve normal levels?
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