Hypercholesterolaemia, namely high cholesterol, together with hypertension and AF results in a significant burden on the NHS. Nurses have a crucial role to identify and help people manage and control high cholesterol.
Cholesterol is made in the liver and is needed to keep cells healthy. It is carried in the blood by lipoproteins.There are two main forms of cholesterol; low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is considered the unhealthy form of cholesterol, whereas HDL is more protective.
Patients need to be aware of cholesterol and its function in the body and the breakdown in lipid profiles.
Raised or unhealthy patterns of blood cholesterol can affect many people and can remain undiagnosed.
Factors influencing hypercholesterolaemia include:
- family history
- diet and lifestyle
- medical history
Hypercholesterolaemia is treated by modifying lifestyle and/or pharmacological treatments.
The 2016 NICE guidance on Cardiovascular Disease: risk assessment and reduction recommends that people with a 10% or greater risk of developing CVD are offered statins. See: QRISK®2
Lifestyle changes and, where necessary, treatment with a statin can reduce the risks and early identification is important. Health care professionals can make every contact count to detect and prevent cardiovascular disease.