What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance that comes from two sources: your body and your diet1

Your body uses some of that cholesterol to build healthy cells and tissues. You take in some cholesterol in your diet; however, your body is also naturally able to make the cholesterol it needs.

How much cholesterol do I have?2


Your doctor can measure the cholesterol in your blood with a simple blood test.

Your test report will show your levels of:


Bad cholesterol (LDL-C), together with other substances, can build up in your arteries as fatty deposits, known as plaque1,3


Over time, plaque build-up can narrow or clog your arteries, which can slow or block blood flow. If a plaque bursts, it can block a blood vessel, causing a heart attack or stroke.


Diet and lifestyle changes are a good start to lowering bad cholesterol (LDL-C), but for some people, medication may also be needed.1

Statins are the most common type of medication used to lower bad cholesterol (LDL-C) and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. They include atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin. Statins work by blocking a substance in the body that is needed for making cholesterol.4

Depending on your risk level, you may need additional medication to reduce your level of bad cholesterol (LDL-C) even further. You may also find you cannot take statins or high doses of statins due to uncomfortable side effects.

In these cases, your doctor will consider other LDL-lowering medications, either by themselves or in combination with Repatha®▼ (evolocumab).4

References:
  1. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. What is Cholesterol? Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc. Accessed: August 9th 2016.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cholesterol Fact Sheet. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_cholesterol.htm. Accessed: August 9th 2016.
  3. Rader D. Nature. 2008;451:904-13.
  4. Reiner Z, et al. Eur Heart J. 2011;32:1769-818.