Americans Urged to Identify Their Cholesterol Goal, Get Health ‘Makeover’

<b>Americans Urged to Identify Their Cholesterol Goal, Get Health ‘Makeover’</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – From fixing leaking roofs to repainting peeling walls, many people take on renovation jobs themselves to enhance their homes. But when it comes to enhancing their health, many Americans simply aren’t tackling the job.

Nearly 38 million Americans have high levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol – a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke -but a new national survey shows that many people don’t have the right “know-how” to best manage their cholesterol and lower their LDL levels.

To raise awareness about the dangers of high cholesterol and the importance of setting a specific, target goal number, WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and the Association of Black Cardiologists Inc. have joined together with AstraZeneca to launch the GOAL Standard, a new nationwide consumer education campaign.

Paul DiMeo, designer and carpenter from ABC’s hit show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” has joined the GOAL Standard team to help empower and motivate people – including those already being treated with cholesterol-lowering statin medications – to be “heart handy” and work with their health care providers to identify a target cholesterol goal, and make a plan to successfully reach and maintain that goal.

“A cholesterol-lowering program is a lot like a home makeover project; you have to determine a goal, draw up blueprints to reach that goal and work according to plan, tracking your progress along the way,” says DiMeo, who embarked on his own health makeover after being diagnosed with high cholesterol. “My doctor and I made sure I had all the tools I needed to reach my target goal -; and now I’ve made a lifelong commitment to maintain it.”

When treating patients with elevated cholesterol, doctors often consult target LDL number guidelines identified by The National Cholesterol Education Program. Yet a new survey shows that the majority (60 percent) of U.S. adults who are being treated with cholesterol-lowering statin medications do not know their target cholesterol goal. Further, 69 percent of these same statin users who are discussing cholesterol goals with their health care provider and do not know their cholesterol goal, are not communicating with their doctor about ways to lower their cholesterol and 31 percent are not talking with their doctor about ways to maintain their cholesterol goal.

Two out of five adults (40 percent) – and approximately two out of five patients using statin medications (38 percent) – say they wish their health care professionals would spend more time discussing cholesterol with them.

“The survey suggests that patients are confused about how to best manage this potentially deadly condition, and need to talk openly with their doctors about treatment options and target goals,” says Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and member of WomenHeart’s Scientific Advisory Board. “It is critical that all patients with high cholesterol, including those using statin medications, also follow personalized plans focused on healthy living to lower their LDL and reach their goal.”

Learn more about high cholesterol, risk factors and how to determine a target goal at www.GOALStandard.com. The site features an interactive cholesterol calculator to help you talk with your doctor about the condition and available treatment options.

The Harris Interactive online survey for the GOAL Standard campaign was conducted between Sept. 22 and 29, 2005 among 1,029 U.S. adults and 1,180 U.S. adults who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol and are currently using statin medication to treat their high cholesterol. Sampling error for the general public results is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points and for the statin user results is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Tips to Help You Lower Your Cholesterol

<b>Tips to Help You Lower Your Cholesterol</b> (NU) – More than 100 million Americans have high cholesterol. So, you probably know someone dealing with the condition, or you may have high cholesterol yourself.

Almost anyone can have an unhealthy cholesterol level. In fact, one in five people have high cholesterol. It’s a very common problem and, in many cases, it may be inherited. So even though having high cholesterol may not be your fault, it’s still very important you treat it now.

Having a high cholesterol level can lead to cardiovascular disease. One life is lost every 33 seconds due to cardiovascular disease.

Everyone should have their cholesterol levels tested to know if they are at risk. Maintaining healthy eating habits and exercising regularly may lower your cholesterol levels.

Here are a few ways you can fight high cholesterol in your diet.

* Stick with the basics. Basic foods like raw fruits and vegetables can help you lower your cholesterol.

* Reduce your fat intake. Learn what the label really means. Just because a label says “low saturated fat,” “low cholesterol” or “cholesterol-free” does not necessarily mean the product is low-fat.

* Substitute healthy sides. Fruit is much better for you than fries.

* Do not eat poultry skin. It is high in cholesterol.

In addition to eating right, ask your doctor about dietary

supplements that can aid you in your fight. For instance, Advanced Plant Pharmaceuticals Inc. (APPI OTC BB) produces a product called Lo-Chol designed to help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels naturally. APPI is a pharmaceutical company that uses whole plants to develop products for the treatment of human diseases.

Lo-Chol is derived from six selected plants that work in concert to help normalize cholesterol levels.

Unlike almost all other herbal supplements on the market, Lo-Chol does not contain any extracts. Instead, it utilizes the entire part of a specific plant that is processed and standardized to deliver optimum potency and nutritional benefits. In clinical studies, people using Lo-Chol have shown cholesterol reductions of up to 58 percent with an average of 29 percent.

For more information, go to www.appi.cc.