Question: If I go on therapy for my cholesterol, is it the change in my cholesterol or the absolute number achieved that is more important?
Answer: When you work with your doctor to lower your bad cholesterol, again, that's the primary target of therapy -- lowering the bad cholesterol, not necessarily raising the good, but getting the bad down. Both the percent lowering and the absolute level relate to risk.
The practice of medicine in the United States and in many places in the world really target LDL cholesterol levels to certain values. So we should set goals in all our patients and try to lower the LDL cholesterol to under that goal.
But it may well be that just a major reduction, in terms of percentage reduction, may also confer benefit.
So both are true; the percent reduction and the absolute level obtained are both relevant to reducing your risk.
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