Is it possible to live to 175 years?
Today we will try to highlight one of the major problems for health. There are questions of atherosclerosis. Most modern people at the mention of the word “atherosclerosis” just an association: cholesterol plaques in blood vessels, heart attack, stroke. Indeed, atherosclerosis – the process of deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels. These plaques can occur in the blood vessels of the heart, brain, legs and internal organs. Atherosclerosis is the only human disease, genetically designed for everyone. This means that each person will die of atherosclerosis and its complications, if he did not have time to develop any other deadly diseases. Alas, just to avoid the development of atherosclerosis is impossible. The first lipid spots appear even in early childhood: Up to 1 year, they have 50 percent of children, after 10 years – 100 percent.
Atherosclerosis – opposite of health, by the nature of the slow but decent for the extinction of the biblical formula: “… and died in a good old age, an old and jaded life.” So it was written about Abraham, who died in 175 years. One of the possible reasons for the early development of atherosclerosis is changing the way of life of modern man: reduced physical activity, dietary factors, the increase in stress. Still, you can slow the development of atherosclerosis.
It all started with the Framingham study, organized in 60 years in the U.S.. This study is the first to prove that people with high cholesterol, atherosclerosis and its complications occur more rapidly than in those with normal cholesterol levels. Other studies have demonstrated the possibility of reducing the risk of rapid development of atherosclerosis.
The women expressed atherosclerosis rarely develops before menopause. Protective role played by female sex hormones. But men may and early development of atherosclerosis. Myocardial infarction in men under 40 years is not so rare.
How to assess whether you have the risk of early development of atherosclerosis? The most important risk factors that we can not change are the male gender and family history – that parents, brothers or sisters of heart attack or stroke at a relatively young age, such as 50 years. But there is one important fact. Imagine: a patient in 52 years has developed a myocardial infarction, and his son, 32 years old. Doctors should not forget to take care of a sick son: to investigate blood cholesterol and analyze the presence of other risk factors.
To changing to some extent risk factors include smoking habit, hypertension, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes. There are other risk factors. Still, the most important factor is the increase in cholesterol, and especially certain factions in the blood. No doubt the concept of multifactorial prevention of atherosclerosis – the combined effect of all existing risk factors. Reduction of cholesterol in the blood – the main component of multifactorial prevention of atherosclerosis.
Over 20 years in the United States have reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease by 50 percent. The level of cholesterol decreased by about 7 percent. Let’s focus on this aspect of prevention – reducing blood cholesterol.
Your personal cholesterol
I’ll start with an example. In 1988, my friend came to two American schoolgirls. One day they were offered for breakfast eggs. Both girls refused flatly: “Too much cholesterol”. Even then, in 15 years they knew their cholesterol level. How many of you reading this know your cholesterol level? What should be the so-called “target” cholesterol levels and what it achieve?
Upon reaching the “target” level of lipid components of atherosclerotic plaques can young dissolve. Admit that there is something to strive. Target total cholesterol level should be below 4.8 mmol / l. If cholesterol levels above named value, to remember the target levels of so-called “good” and “bad” cholesterol. The most “harmful” is a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (before it was called beta-cholesterol). Its value in healthy people should not be higher than 4.0 mmol / L, and coronary heart disease – no more than 2.6 mmol / l. “Useful” alpha-cholesterol should be above 1.2 mmol / l. Triglycerides (also atherogenic) should be no higher than 1.7 mmol / l.
What if elevated cholesterol? With a slight increase in total cholesterol (up to 6.0 mmol / L), treatment begins with dietary recommendations. Of great importance is smoking cessation and increasing physical activity. With more severe changes also require medication.
Unfortunately, the role of diet in lowering cholesterol is not as great as is sometimes believed. Failure to follow the diet can lead to very poor results, but even the most rigid adherence to dietary recommendations will not lower cholesterol by more than 15%.
Brief description of the anti-atherogenic diet is. Need to reduce calorie intake to a minimum to limit animal and dairy fat and increase the consumption of vegetables containing soluble fiber. The highest concentration of cholesterol in egg yolk. Thus, in one yolk contains one gram of cholesterol and cholesterol allowed per day at its elevated levels in the blood – 300 mg.
Strict adherence to dietary recommendations will not spoil the results of drug therapy, which is shown most people with high cholesterol.
Discovery of the century
The real sensation of the twentieth century is the discovery of statins – drugs that lower cholesterol levels. Opening statins compare in importance to humanity with the discovery of antibiotics. By the way, antibiotics, and statins are derived from fungi (penicillium and aspergilliusa respectively). So nature has given us twice the means to preserve and prolong life. Despite the fact that there are other groups of drugs that can help reduce cholesterol levels, none of them can not even approximately match the effectiveness of statins.
Most large-scale studies confirming the efficacy of statins is to study “Protecting Heart” (Heart Protection Study). It is attended by more than 20,000 people for more than five years. At the end of the study found that people who received statins, compared with the control group the risk of heart attacks and strokes fell by one third!
Equally impressive are the results of the well-known study 4S (Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Stady). 4444 patients received statins for more than five years. Statins prevent four of the nine expected deaths, seven of the 21 expected myocardial infarction and six of the 19 expected heart surgery for coronary disease. It was found that statins reduce and total mortality, and mortality from stroke, with a positive impact on the prognosis of patients appear before a lower cholesterol level. The number of side effects with statins is minimal – tenths and hundredths of a percent.
New and fundamentally important to get confirmation in larger studies the proposition that ALL patients with coronary heart disease should receive a statin regardless of the level of cholesterol. Statins increase the life expectancy of these patients and reduce their risk of heart attacks.
Our country is far behind the world on the use of statins. And this is due mainly to the low awareness of doctors and patients. Elevated levels of cholesterol are statins in France 96% of patients, in Italy – 91%, Spain – 87%, in Germany – 70%. According to the most immodest estimated that in Russia the share of these patients does not exceed 1-2%!
Should take statins for a long time, almost for life. Interruptions of statins are possible, but at the termination of their admission cholesterol gradually return to its original level.
How to live long
Statin therapy – a relatively expensive. I would like to stress is relative so expensive even on the grounds that it is the preservation and renewal of our lives. The analysis of family budgets of most patients has shown that it can be redistributed for the benefit of life-saving drugs, which include statins.
There are currently six statin drugs. Each of them is produced by several companies under different names. Now available in Arkhangelsk at least four of the world’s statin, and brand names – more than ten. Value of these drugs is very different.
Naturally, like any medicine, drugs of the statin should be prescribed by a doctor after a certain, including laboratory testing.