New Guidelines Suggest Risk Factors, Not Cholesterol Levels, Should Determine Cardiovascular Treatment Options

Statin Medications for patients with cardiovascular Risk FactorsThe American Heart Association (AHA) in collaboration with the American College of Cardiology recently released new, more aggressive cardiovascular treatment guidelines.  The new guidelines indicate that patients should be evaluated by their risk factors instead of a cholesterol number to determine if they should be prescribed medications.  Many patients who in the past would not have been prescribed statin medications will now be evaluated to determine if the medication is necessary.

Some of the risk factors physicians will take into consideration when evaluating a patient are:

  • Has the patient been diagnosed with heart disease?  This includes if the patient has ever had a heart attack or stroke.
    • If yes, your cholesterol should probably be managed with medication.
  • Does the patient have diabetes, type I or type II?
    • According to Emory Women’s Heart Center clinical director, Gina Lundberg, MD, “heart disease is the number one killer of all diabetics”.  Diabetics often need to manage their cholesterol with statin medications.
  • Does the patient have an LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) level of over 190.
    • According to the new cardiovascular treatment guidelines, if a patient is over 21 years old and has an LDL level above 190 he/she should be prescribed a statin medication.
  • Does the patient have a heart attack risk greater than 7.5%?

If a patient falls into any one of the risk factor categories above, they should be put on a statin according to the new guidelines. The new guidelines will hopefully prevent heart attacks and strokes in many patients who were previously not on statins to control cholesterol.

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About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

About Gina Lundberg, MD

Dr. Gina LundbergGina Price Lundberg, MD FACC is the Director of the Heart Center for Women. She founded and directed The Women’s Heart Center, the first women’s cardiac prevention program in the state of Georgia in 1998.

She was named by Governor Sonny Perdue to the Advisory Board for Women’s Health, Georgia Department of Women’s Health, Department of Community Health for 2007-2008. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University and teaches cardiology fellows at Grady Hospital. She also teaches medical students from the Medical College of Georgia in preventive cardiology. She is a member of the American College of Cardiologist’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.

She has been a Board Member of the American Heart Association for Atlanta since 2001. She has been involved with the Go Red for Women campaign since it launched in 2004. She has been on the Southeast Affiliate for the AHA’s Strategic Initiative Committee representing Go Red for Women. She is national speaker for the American Heart Association. She has also been working with the national organization, Sister to Sister Foundation from 2004 till the present with their Atlanta program.

She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women in Glamour Magazine, MD News, the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and other magazines. She has been interviewed on numerous local news shows and many radio programs over the years. Dr. Lundberg has published articles in several medical journals and contributed to several text books.

Dr. Lundberg has lived most of her life in Atlanta, GA. She attended the Medical College of Georgia and trained in Internal Medicine at Atlanta Medical Center (Georgia Baptist). Her cardiology fellowship was at Rush University in Chicago. She has been in private practice in Atlanta since 1994. She is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine and re-certified in both in 2002. She has two children and considers motherhood her first and foremost career.

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