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Cholesterol

HEALTH
January 22, 2011 | By Amanda Leigh Mascarelli, Special to the Los Angeles Times
What should you be doing to keep your cholesterol under control? Here's what the experts advise: Get screened: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that men have their cholesterol levels checked by age 35 and that women begin by age 45. Men and women with an increased risk of heart disease should start getting screened at age 20, according to the task force. Some doctors advocate for screening beginning in early adulthood — or even during childhood if kids have a family history of cholesterol problems.
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HEALTH
January 22, 2011 | By Amanda Leigh Mascarelli, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When it comes to cholesterol, doctors are sure of two things: High levels of the bad kind increase the risk of heart disease, and lowering those levels reduces the risk. So traditional treatments are aimed at cutting bad cholesterol through diet, exercise and drugs called statins. Now cardiologists are trying to harness the power of good cholesterol to help stave off heart disease. Clinical trials of drugs designed to boost good cholesterol are underway. Meanwhile, scientists are learning more about how it contributes to health: A new study suggests it's not just the total amount of good cholesterol that matters, but how efficiently it's able to gobble up bad cholesterol.
HEALTH
December 13, 2010 | By Joe Graedon and Theresa Graedon, Special to the Los Angeles Times
My dad recently died after going into the hospital for pneumonia. It was discovered he had lung disease due to taking amiodarone for many years. He was never warned about the side effects. Does the Food and Drug Administration keep track of how many people die after taking this drug? We are very sorry to hear about your father's tragic death. Amiodarone is a heart medicine that can cause many serious lung complications. Your father should have been alerted to this danger. The FDA allows doctors and patients to report adverse drug events through its MedWatch ( http://www.
NEWS
December 13, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Here’s yet another reason to watch your cholesterol – the “good” kind may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. That nugget comes from researchers at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. They recruited 1,130 senior citizens from Manhattan (all of them age 65 or older) and took baseline measurements of their cholesterol levels and their neurological states. They also checked to see whether these seniors had a particular mutation in the APOE gene that could increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
NEWS
November 22, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
The cholesterol drug anacetrapib -- or, rather, the hubbub about it -- shows one thing: Consumers desperately want a cholesterol drug that's both effective and safe. Anacetrapid is showing promise in raising good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol. And the Booster Shots blog and this related video explain the optimism surrounding the clinical trials so far. But at least one fact has gotten lost amid the excitement: Many people don’t need to take drugs to lower their cholesterol and boost their HDL or good cholesterol.
HEALTH
November 17, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
A medication under development dramatically raises good cholesterol, reduces bad cholesterol and, so far, appears safe, researchers reported Wednesday. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is a key step toward development of a drug that boosts HDL cholesterol. Studies have shown that people who have naturally high HDL levels are at lower risk for heart disease, and cardiologists have long sought a strategy to raise HDL cholesterol in those whose levels are low. The goal has not been easy, however.
NEWS
November 4, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Lowering cholesterol is a concern of many people, some of whom turn to statins to do the job. But a new study finds that adding monounsaturated fats to an already low-cholesterol diet may improve cholesterol levels as well. The small study included 24 men and women with cholesterol levels that were mildly to moderately high who were on a month-long monitored diet low in saturated fat. After that, some were randomly assigned for a second month to a vegetarian diet -- also monitored -- that was either high or low in monounsaturated fats.
HEALTH
August 30, 2010 | Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon, The People's Pharmacy
I took glucosamine and chondroitin for about seven months. I had gotten little relief for my back pain, but I was willing to continue it to see if eventually it would help. Around that time, I had blood work done and found that my cholesterol had jumped from under 200 to 239. I had made no changes in lifestyle or diet other than these supplements. I haven't taken any since. Dozens of readers report a rise in cholesterol associated with taking glucosamine and chondroitin. In many cases, cholesterol levels go back down after the supplements are discontinued.
NEWS
August 10, 2010
Women who have their cholesterol checked only to be taken aback at an oddly high level of HDL or LDL might want to check the calendar. Was the appointment at the latter end of the menstrual cycle? The beginning? Their estrogen level at the time might be a factor. Researchers knew that the estrogen in oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy could affect cholesterol levels, but they wanted to know more about the effects of normal estrogen fluctuations inside the body.
HEALTH
August 9, 2010 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
In the next year or so, the market for statins may get a further boost. The National Cholesterol Education Program, the group that drafted the 2001 and 2004 guidelines on statin use, is expected to update its treatment recommendations. In doing so, the group will decide whether to suggest the broad use of statins for healthy patients with high readings of a marker for inflammation called C-reactive protein. If the group does urge statins for these healthy individuals, at least 6.5 million new patients could sign up for long-term statin use. Dr. Sanjay Kaul, a cardiologist at USC and a coauthor of one of the recent studies critical of the large-scale JUPITER trial, on which such a recommendation would likely be based, says such an expansion would be a mistake.
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