After a heart attack at only 39 and subsequent diagnosis of high cholesterol, Doreen was in shock. “That was the beginning of a great challenge for me,” says Doreen.
She knew she had to stay alive for her children and grandchildren, so she immediately adopted a healthy lifestyle. She tweaked her diet, began an exercise routine and started a statin therapy, the most commonly prescribed class of cholesterol-lowering medicines. But her cholesterol levels didn’t change.
Frustrated, Doreen continued this treatment regimen until she developed heart muscle spasms and her doctor advised that she stop taking the cholesterol-lowering medication. Doreen learned that she is part of a small patient population intolerant to statins because of side effects or adverse events.
Despite not being able to take a cholesterol-lowering medicine, she remains committed to her heart-healthy, low-cholesterol diet and exercise routine and awaits research that will hopefully yield new treatments. According to Doreen, “there is new technology and research every day and that is where the hope comes in and the faith comes in that it’s going to be alright.”
For millions of Americans, high cholesterol levels can be kept at bay with diet, exercise and statin therapy. But for patients like Doreen, a significant unmet medical need remains, underscoring the need for continued innovation to help patients live longer, healthier lives.
Read more about how the biopharmaceutical industry is fighting cholesterol at www.fromhopetocures.org/heartdisease
Holly Campbell Holly Campbell is a deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on the cost and value of medicines. Prior to joining PhRMA, Holly worked for large and small public relations firms where she provided strategic communications counsel, media relations and partnership expertise to health care and pharmaceutical clients. In her free time, she enjoys taking barre classes, trying new restaurants and spending time with Boss and Poppy, her rescue pups.