including whether you are also diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Many health care providers recommend treating anyone with CVD with high-dose statin therapy. This includes those with coronary heart disease and who have had a stroke.
For those who do not have CVD, treatment is determined by your individual risk for developing heart disease. That risk can be estimated using calculators which factor your age, sex, medical history, and other characteristics. If your risk is high (such as a 7.5 or 10 percent risk of developing CVD over 10 years), your doctor may start you on treatment preventively. They generally keep in mind your preferences towards taking medication in general. For those people whose risk is unclear, a coronary artery calcium score, which is a screening test looking for calcium (an indication of atherosclerosis) in the arteries, can help determine the need for statins.
For both those who have CVD and those who do not, when the decision is made to start medication, the first choice is usually a statin.
Other special groups who may need treatment:
- People with high triglyceride levels may benefit if they have other risk factors
- People with diabetes: are at high risk, and a ldl under 100 is recommended for most
- Older adults: a healthy, active older adult may benefit reduction you need, and prescribe a medication accordingly.