Tuesday Talk - January 28, 2020

Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Speaker: Henry N. Ginsberg, Herbert and Florence Irving Professor of Medicine.

Henry N. Ginsberg discussed the relationship of cholesterol to heart disease, how statins work, their proven benefits, their potential risk, and whether everyone should be on a statin.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in most of the world and after years of a steady reduction in rates of heart attacks and death from cardiovascular disease in the US, rates have leveled off or are possibly increased. There are a number of clear risks for heart attacks and strokes and the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood is at or near the top of the list. 30 years ago, a class of drugs called statins were introduced – they lower LDL cholesterol and heart disease but after all these years, they are under-utilized and feared by much of the population.

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