Washington: Controlling your high blood pressure and high cholesterol simultaneously could decrease your risk of attaining heart disease by half or more, a new research has claimed.
Brent M. Egan, M.D., lead study author and a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C, said that undertreated high blood pressure and cholesterol affect millions of Americans - posing a major public health threat.
He said that the reality is that they know more than enough to prevent 75 percent of heart disease and strokes, but people not doing everything that they can do or even do it at a reasonable level.
Egan asserted that some gradual improvements have been made over the years, but there is still a lot of progress to be made.
The findings are based on data of more than 17,000 American adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys during in 1988-94, 1999-2004 and 2005-10.
In addition to reviewing patients` blood pressure and cholesterol levels, researchers considered race, age, insurance status, whether patients smoked, had diabetes, had diagnosed heart disease and/or chronic kidney disease, and if they visited a doctor every year.
Egan also said that if patients` cholesterol tests show a good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level, which is the healthy, protective cholesterol, then the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) number might get overlooked.
He explained that not all HDL is equally protective and some people with a normal HDL are at high risk and in those patients, there might be a false sense of assurance that cholesterol really isn`t a problem.
He added that LDL and non-HDL readings are the ones to really watch and patients seeing their doctors for BP treatment should ask about their LDL and non-HDL levels and make sure both are under control at the same time.
The research has been published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.