New cholesterol guidelines are for everyone

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

New cholesterol guidelines are for everyone
Doctors have new guidelines for treating patients with high cholesterol. (Source: American Heart Association)

(CNN) – More than 800,000 deaths a year can be attributed to cardiovascular disease, including conditions that cause heart attacks and strokes.

Over the weekend, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology came out with new recommendations for controlling high cholesterol levels - one of the biggest heart disease risk factors.

In them, doctors are being urged to examine the risks of high cholesterol in all patients, rather than those of a specific age range.

The old guidelines ignored patients younger than 40 and older than 75.

LDL levels are once again in focus. LDL is also known as bad cholesterol.

People with levels of 100 or lower have reduced rates of heart disease and stroke.

LDL levels above 160 are considered very high and require specialized treatment.

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