Consumer Reports: Heart Disease Research
Experts agree that high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase your risk of having a heart attack. What they don’t agree on is who should be taking medication to threat it.
“Doctors and patients might be confused about when it’s time to use medication to treat high blood pressure or high cholesterol,” said Lisa Gill with Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs.
Consumer Reports has these guidelines: First, focus on your overall risk.
“Everyone over the age of 40 should know their 10-year risk of having a heart attack or stroke,” said Gill. “There’s an online tool that’ll help you estimate that.”
If it’s 10 percent or higher, you probably need a drug to lower your cholesterol. But if it’s less than that, consider diet, exercise and losing weight before starting medication.
When it comes to medication, Consumer Reports says if you must take a cholesterol or blood pressure drug, it’s best to start with one o that has a long record of safety and effectiveness. They also suggest low doses of statin drugs to prevent a first heart attack or stroke.