Transcript for What to know about the new cholesterol guidelines for heart health
story, a health alert about the cholesterol guidelines from the American heart association, and chief medical correspondent Jen Ashton is here. I’ll walk over to you so you can break down the guidelines. Here it is. It is 120 pages of new guidelines from the country’s top cardiologist. I read every page last night. It is very complicated. Obviously a lot more than we can talk about in two minutes, but they talk about three test that is people should know about. One, a simple non-fasting blood test to check your bad cholesterol. The second for some people called a coronary artery calcium score, and the third one is to calculate an equation for a cardiac event. Be very aggressive with the cholesterol-lowering medication. Make that target ldl, that number as low as possible, and in some cases, less than 70 and use the highest dose of statten regardless of what it is. Don’t be afraid of them at all? 100%. We have a true/false test, and the first one is — first question, statins prevent heart attacks slowly by lowering bad cholesterol. What do you think? True or false? Close. And a lot of people think this, George. The answer is George. That’s one way they work. It’s not the only way, and that’s what’s really important. It’s not just about the number. It’s about reducing inflammation as well. Number two, eating a diet low in cholesterol will lower your level. True or false? Our audience is working hard this morning. They are working hard on these ones. Okay, and so they are a little bit split, but we have heard diet, diet, diet. The answer to this is actually false. The main source of your ldl cholesterol in your blood actually probably does not come from the foods we eat. It comes from our liver and genetics. It’s much more complicated than diet, although a healthy diet is important. Final question. Statins will always give you side effects. Is that true or false? See? And this is — statins have a P.R. Problem. The actual risk with this medication, about 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,000. And you want to talk to your provider about your risks. Talk about cause and we need to emphasize lifestyle factors, and we can prevent 80% mediterranean diet dash. Diet people. It’s about being idealistic and realistic and the reality is this is the number one killer. Jen will keep the conversation going. Take your questions to “Gma’s” Facebook page starting right now.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.