Do you know your lipid profile? High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to get your cholesterol checked. Your health care team can do a simple blood test, called a “lipid profile,” to measure your cholesterol levels.
The cholesterol test checks your levels of:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Having high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and result in heart disease or stroke.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because high levels can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood that your body uses for energy. The combination of high levels of triglycerides with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol levels can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, taking 17.9 million lives every year. CVDs include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and other disorders of the heart and blood vessels. A heart attack or stroke is responsible for more than four out of five CVD deaths, and one-third occur in people under 70 years of age.
By identifying an individual’s risk of CVDs and ensuring access to cholesterol medications, health technologies, and cholesterol management guide, Organon maintains its commitment to deliver impactful medicines and solutions for a healthier every day. The healthcare company is working to effect positive change globally by listening to patients about their health care needs.
Organon’s R&D philosophy is to build a business around patient needs, with the goal of identifying and advancing healthcare options for women and their families, that enable them to live their best lives every day.
Type of drugs to lower cholesterol
There are several classes of drugs used to decrease cholesterol such as statins, selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors, PCSK9 inhibitor, fibric acid derivatives, bile acid requestrants, nicotinic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Statins are one of the most common types of drugs to lower cholesterol. It works by preventing the liver from making cholesterol by blocking the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme.
Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors work by preventing the body from absorbing cholesterol from the intestines through inhibition of intestinal protein NPC1L1. Besides reducing LDL cholesterol, these inhibitors may also lower triglycerides. They are considered the first choice to be added on statin-based therapy for very high risk patients who are not yet at LDL-C goal.
A PCSK9 inhibitor works by attaching to a particular liver protein in the body, lowering LDL cholesterol. This class of medication can be given with statins and is usually prescribed for people at very high risk for coronary heart disease events who have not been able to lower their cholesterol sufficiently through other means.
Another class of drug is fibric acid derivatives, which reduce blood lipid (fat) levels, particularly triglycerides. This might also increase HDL levels, also referred to as “good” cholesterol, while decreasing the production of LDL in the liver. People with severe kidney issues or liver problems should avoid taking fibrates.
Bile acid requestrants work inside the intestine by attaching themselves to bile, a greenish fluid made of cholesterol that is produced by the liver to digest food. In this way, the body produces less cholesterol. Resins lower LDL cholesterol and slightly increase HDL cholesterol levels.
Nicotinic acid, also called niacin, is a B-complex vitamin. This drug is available over-the-counter, but some versions are prescription only. Niacin lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raises HDL levels. However, people with gout or severe liver disease, should not take niacin.
Omega-3 fatty acid esters and polyunsaturated fatty acids are used to lower triglycerides. These are commonly called fish oils. Some products are available as OTC items, while others are prescription only. Before taking Omega-3, know that fish oils might interfere with other medications and consider allergies related to fish and seafood.
Adenosine triphosphate-citric lyase (ACL) inhibitors or bempedoic acid works in the liver to slow down cholesterol production.
Effective cholesterol management
Cardiovascular disease is preventable and treatable. Organon pursues to educate the public and support efforts in updating doctors with the recent clinical practice guidelines on cholesterol management. In 2022, Organon participated in the Philippine Lipid and Atherosclerosis Society (PLAS) and Philippine Society of Hypertension 27th Joint Annual Convention. In her lecture, Dr, Lourdes Ella Santos of UP-PGH CSCMC, shared different studies and clinical trials being done to improve cholesterol management.
“The combination of a highly potent statin with non-statin therapies is producing greater lipid-lowering, with translation to improved cardiovascular outcomes. Consideration of use of oral therapy that is highly potent in the form of oral fixed dose combination of a Statin and a Non-statin therapy to help high-risk patients achieve their target LDL-C goal,” explained Dr. Lourdes Ella Santos, UP-PGH/CSCMC.
Counseling, early diagnosis, and routine monitoring are key factors that contribute to effective cholesterol management. All adults should receive counseling on a healthy diet and lifestyle to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Lipid profile and risk calculation help identify CVD symptoms. Individuals at increased risk for cardiovascular disease should be counseled to make healthy lifestyle and dietary changes in order to decrease risk. Additionally, a shared decision-making process should be used to determine the best options for medium-intensity statins for primary prevention, if desired.
Organon remains committed to building a business around patient needs, identifying diseases earlier, modifying the course of diseases or healthcare conditions, and driving change towards a thriving, stable, and resilient society wherein healthy Filipinos are the backbone.