Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease is one of the top contributors to deaths globally and locally.
Atherosclerosis is a general term for many different disorders that result from a thickening and loss of elasticity in the arterial wall. This damage leads to the formation of plaque in the blood vessels causing ASCVD, which includes stroke, heart attacks and damage to peripheral arteries.
The top 3 risk factors for ASCVD are high LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol), high blood pressure and diet.
LDL-C or cholesterol causes plaque to build up in the blood vessels and results in an increase in the risk of a person having an ASCVD event.
There are several risk factors that are used in identifying the risk of the Filipino individual for cardiovascular disease:
A Filipino individual has 2 or more of these risk factors, they should undergo testing for their cholesterol levels as they may already need to begin maintenance medications to reduce their risk.
Elevated cholesterol usually does not exhibit any symptoms. The condition is identified when an individual undergoes testing for their cholesterol levels.
However, if the condition remains unchecked, the individual may progress to experiencing an ASCVD event which are commonly identified as:
Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction
Peripheral Artery Disease
No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
Treatment: The goal of treatment is for patients to achieve their target LDL-C goals according to their risk profile. Achieving these goals will lower the patients’ risk for cardiovascular events such as a heart attack or stroke.
Fibrates: Adding fibrates to statins may be considered among those with controlled diabetes, low HDL-C (<35 mg/dL) and persistently high triglycerides (>200 mg/dL) for prevention of cardiovascular disease.
For individuals at any level of cardiovascular risk, the following are recommended:
Consult your doctor for the proper laboratory diagnostic tests to be done, and if any medications should be started
2020 Executive Summary of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Dyslipidemia in the Philippines
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2022)
Impact of Lipids on Cardiovascular Health: JACC Health Promotion Series (Journals of the American College of Cardiology, 2018)