There are several classes of hypolipidemic drugs. They may differ in both their impact on the cholesterol profile and adverse effects. For example, some may lower the "bad cholesterol" low density lipoprotein (LDL) more so than others, while others may preferentially increase high density lipoprotein (HDL), "the good cholesterol". Clinically, the choice of an agent will depend on the patient's cholesterol profile , cardiovascular risk , and the liver and kidney functions of the patient, evaluated against the balancing of risks and benefits of the medications. In the United States, this is guided by the evidence-based guideline from the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III (ATPIII).
A word of caution concerning the new home cholesterol tests now available at local pharmacies and through the Internet: Home cholesterol tests, such as the CholesTrak and First Check Home Cholesterol Test, are indeed faster than visiting your health care provider, but may not be very useful. The kits, which require the user to draw blood from a prick of the skin, measure only total cholesterol (not HDL, LDL and triglycerides individually)—interesting information that doesn't provide accurate information about your cardiovascular risk or much about the impact of diet or exercise on your cholesterol.
This popular green food contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein already has a reputation for guarding against age-related macular degeneration , a leading cause of blindness. Now research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily also guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls "shrug off" cholesterol invaders that cause clogging. Look for bags of baby spinach leaves that you can use for salads or pop in the microwave for a quick side dish.