High Cholesterol And Middle Aged Men
Cholesterol is something that many people are concerned about as they approach middle age. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in America today, it gives great reason to. Middle-aged men with high cholesterol levels are at greater risk for a first heart attack than similar women are, Norwegian researchers report. In a study of more than 40,000 men and women under the age of 60, men with high cholesterol had more than three times the risk of having a heart attack, compared to women with high cholesterol.
“In middle age, our results suggest that high cholesterol is much more detrimental for men than for women, and that prevention and treatment of high cholesterol in middle-aged men have a great potential to reduce the occurrence of heart attacks among men,” said lead researcher Dr. Erik Madssen, from the department of circulation and medical imaging at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim.
Men under 60 should be diagnosed and treated for high cholesterol more aggressively than what often is the case today, he added. To reduce the risk of heart attack, men should be counseled about making lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, as well as taking medication such as statins like Lipitor, to lower their cholesterol levels. “This is especially true in males that have a family history of heart attacks and in smokers,” Madssen said. Why there is this difference in risk between men and women isn’t clear, but Madssen thinks it may have to do with the protective effects of hormones like estrogen, which is why they limited their study to women and men under 60.
“We believe that females below 60 years of age may be protected against some of the cardiovascular consequences of having high cholesterol due to female sex hormones such as estrogen,” he said. The report was published in the September issue of Epidemiology. One expert said it is important for both men and women to keep their levels in check”It is well established that men have a higher risk for heart attacks at an earlier age than women, with an approximately 10-year risk differential, but over a lifetime the cardiovascular risk in women exceeds that of men,” said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, spokesman for the American Heart Association and a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In addition, it has been shown that higher cholesterol levels are an independent risk factor for men and women, with both sexes deriving similar benefits in terms of protection from cardiovascular disease with statins, he added. “The use of lifestyle modification and statin therapy is one of the most effective, cost-effective and high-value therapeutic approaches to prevent cardiovascular events and prolong life in men as well as women,” Fonarow said.
Our lifestyle choices will make the biggest impact with healthy cholesterol levels. We know that just exercising 20 minutes a day, five days per week with increase the good- HDL (high density lipoproteins) cholesterol. A diet with plenty of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, and fish will help support healthy cholesterol as well. Oh, and don’t forget your 2 eggs every day. Many Cardiologists are suggesting eggs for their heart-health promoting benefits.