New Cholesterol study reveals patients are going untreated

By staff reports

   A study released Tuesday by PharMetrics and commissioned by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America found that 52 percent of patients with health insurance aren't being treated with high cholesterol as they should.
   The major risk factors of high cholesterol are heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, and strokes. With the increased benefits of statins, the drugs used to control high cholesterol, many of this life threatening disease could be prevented, but without a diagnosis and treatment the numbers continue to rise.
   The study revealed that half of commercially insured Americans failed to receive cholesterol treatment that needed it. Dan Ollendor, a researcher for PharMetrics explained that some patients that were diagnosed with high or abnormal levels of cholesterol that were treated, didn't receive their medication until five months later.
   Johnathan Sackner-Bernstein, a cardiologist at North Shore Hospital explained that prevention is a key factor in lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. Doctors need to be treating the right way. Bernstein said it's "embarrassing" to him as a doctor to have patients go untreated.
   Bernstein reflected the importance of patient lifestyle changes, better communication with doctors and patient compliance to take medication and the positive affect it can have on patients. "Statins work they save lives," said Bernstein.
   High cholesterol is noted as a "silent killer" because many people are unaware of their cholesterol levels until it's to late. Kathy Katson, President of the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, spoke on the subject from a personal perspective.
   Katson experienced first hand the effects of high cholesterol when at age 40, she collapsed with a heart attack. Katson exercised throughout her life and tried to deny her heart attack, until she was "blind-sided" with a by-pass.
   Katson hopes that women all over "take heart and take action" by educating themselves and staying healthy for the sake of their families.
   Gary Puckrein, Executive Director of the National Minority Health Month Foundation revealed staggering statistics on minorities and heart disease. According to Puckrein, African Americans and Mexican Americans are less likely to get tested and less likely to take the proper medication to lower heart disease.
   Puckrein said, "Great treatments are available, but don't do any good if they go untreated."