Managing your cholesterol

Repatha® is an important part of your cholesterol-lowering regime. Read on to learn more about cholesterol, its role in your body, and why it is important to manage your cholesterol to achieve a healthy level.

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What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a soft waxy lipid (fat) made by our bodies. The liver makes about 80 percent of the cholesterol in your body. The other 20 percent comes from the foods you eat.

What are the different types of cholesterol?

Cholesterol is one of several fatty substances found in the bloodstream. Your total cholesterol is made up mainly of LDL and HDL cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) is often called “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the walls of your arteries, forming plaque. Eventually this plaque buildup can lead to a narrowing of the arteries. This narrowing can slow or block blood flow to vital organs such as the heart and brain. This blocking of blood flow can result in a heart attack or stroke and can cause other health problems.

HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) is often called “good” cholesterol because it helps keep the bad cholesterol from building up in the arteries and protects against heart disease.

Triglycerides are another form of fat in your blood that, in excess, may increase your risk for heart disease.

Types of cholesterol and targets

  1. Total cholesterol
    Total cholesterol means the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. This includes LDL-C and HDL-C.
  2. LDL-C
    For moderate- and high-risk individuals, the LDL-C target is less than 2 mmol/L or a greater than 50% decrease from baseline (the level measured before treatment). For low-risk individuals, the treatment target would be a reduction in LDL-C of 50% or greater from baseline.
  3. HDL-C
    Generally, the HDL-C level should be higher than 1.3 mmol/L for women, and higher than 1.9 mmol/L for men.
  4. Triglycerides
    High triglyceride levels are linked to low levels of HDL-C, excess body weight and poorly controlled diabetes. In general, the target triglyceride level is less than 1.7 mmol/L.
  5. Total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio
    This ratio shows how high your HDL-C is relative to your overall cholesterol levels. A lower number is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Why is lowering cholesterol important?

Excess cholesterol is carried in LDL, or low-density lipoprotein. LDL cholesterol, or LDL-C, can build up in the walls of your arteries as plaque, which can lead to a narrowing of arteries that can slow or block blood flow to vital organs such as the heart and brain. This blocking of blood flow can result in a heart attack or stroke and can cause other health problems.

Therefore, lowering cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is important to help reduce the harmful effects that excess LDL-C may have, including heart attack, stroke and other health problems.

High cholesterol – a condition that may have no symptoms

In many cases, high cholesterol may not cause symptoms – many people may be unaware that their cholesterol level is high.

The only way to know if you have high cholesterol levels is to have your blood tested.

Having your cholesterol levels tested – what do test results say?

When your blood is tested for cholesterol, you will usually receive five categories of results, described below with some general target levels. Your doctor will determine your personal target levels based on your cardiovascular risk factors – including age, total cholesterol level, smoking status, HDL-C level and systolic blood pressure.

What else can you do to help lower your cholesterol levels?

Patient Support Program

  • Assistance accessing drug coverage
  • One-on-one Repatha® injection training with a nurse
  • Ongoing educational resources on Repatha® and cardiovascular health
  • Nurse support, ongoing personalized contact and treatment reminders