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cardiovascular disease (CVD).
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What is cardiovascular disease?


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a group of conditions that involve the heart and blood vessels. Common complications include heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke.

Deaths From Cardiovascular Disease

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One person dies every 37 seconds from CVD in the US


CVD is the leading cause of death in the US—more than all deaths from cancer—and the number of lives lost is increasing, year after year.

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DID YOU KNOW?

By 2030, over 1 million people in the US could die each year from CVD.

Something has to change

Something has to change


For decades, there was a decrease in deaths from CVD, mainly due to new medication options and a better understanding of how lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, affect heart health. However, in the past few years, there has been an increase in deaths from CVD, and that number is expected to get worse.

This disturbing pattern in CVD is not set in stone, and we have the ability to reverse this trend. How we approach CVD today can change the future for millions of people tomorrow.

Chart of CVD deaths over time

The Risks of High Cholesterol

What is ASCVD?


Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is a type of cardiovascular disease caused by high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL-C) in the blood. This leads to the buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries, which over time can lead to heart attack or stroke.

The following factors can cause high bad cholesterol (LDL-C) and lead to ASCVD:

Family history

Family history

Smoking

Smoking

Obesity

Obesity

High-fat foods

High-fat foods

Inactivity

Inactivity

DID YOU KNOW?

Routine screening and regular testing can help detect high levels of LDL-C in the blood.

Challenges of Lowering Cholesterol

ASCVD and the importance of lowering LDL-C


For people with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL-C) increase the risk for heart attack or stroke, especially if those levels stay high over a long period of time. Lowering LDL-C decreases the risk. It's important to keep LDL-C at the recommended target to help manage ASCVD.

DID YOU KNOW?

About 4 out of 5 people being treated for ASCVD are unable to lower their LDL-C enough to meet their recommended target.

Challenges in managing ASCVD


Managing ASCVD involves lowering high LDL-C and keeping it low. This is done with a combination of improved diet, more exercise, and a daily pill called a statin. Statins are considered to be the standard of care for lowering high LDL-C.

Despite this approach, lowering LDL-C enough to reach target can be difficult.

What are common challenges to lowering LDL-C?

Changing lifestyle

Changing lifestyle

  • You and your doctor have probably discussed changing diet and increasing exercise to help lower LDL-C

  • Even after the best efforts at making these lifestyle changes, many people still struggle to lower their LDL-C enough. This is because in some people, genetics plays a role in determining high LDL-C

Sticking to treatment

Sticking to treatment

Your doctor may have prescribed medicine for you to take every day to lower LDL-C. However, it can sometimes be difficult sticking to a daily treatment. Some common treatment challenges are:

  • Side effects like muscle aches can prevent some people from continuing treatment or staying on high doses of statins

  • Difficulty remembering to take their medicine every day can also prevent people from staying on treatment

After having these experiences, some may stop taking their medicine altogether out of frustration. It is important to always follow your doctor's instructions.

Accessing Other Treatments

Accessing other treatments

  • Some other treatments used for treating high LDL-C may be expensive or have insurance challenges

  • The inability to get medicines other than statins can prevent some people from being able to properly manage ASCVD and high LDL-C

What you can do to manage ASCVD


To manage ASCVD and lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke, it is important to:

  • Go to all follow-up appointments with your doctor

  • Follow any diet and exercise instructions from your doctor

  • Talk to your doctor about your health history and how often you need to have your LDL-C checked

  • Make sure you are taking your medicine as directed by your doctor

  • Ask a friend or loved one, or find a support group to help you stay on track

Finding a balance of treatment options and lifestyle changes can be difficult, but you don't have to do it alone. Partnering with your doctor is important in managing ASCVD. Doing so is a big step toward lowering your LDL-C and lowering your risk of heart attack or stroke.

Stay informed and continue to learn about the importance of lowering LDL-C to help find a management plan that's right for you.

Join us in the fight.