CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - If you're not already on medication to lower your cholesterol then you might soon be. The American Heart association released new treatment guidelines that focus on risk factors.
Under the new guidelines, if a patient has heart disease, diabetes, a bad cholesterol over 190 or is at a 7.5 percent risk for heart attack or stroke within ten years; their doctor would be required to prescribe statins or medication that lowers cholesterol.
"The new guidelines are tighter and maybe it means that more people will get their cardiovascular disease controlled or treated in a more timely matter," said Valorie Mixon who is a physicians assistant for Parkridge Medical Group.
The guidelines will have significance in Hamilton County where nearly 8.5 percent of the population suffers from diabetes.
"They will also include some guidelines for ethnicity such as gender, females and African Americans," Mixon said.
According to recent data, heart disease related deaths in Hamilton County are at 61-percent for African Americans. So access statins are vital but then there's the question of affordability.
According to Walgreens pharmacy, a person who's uninsured can expect to pay as much as $218 for a 30 day supply. A person with insurance would only pay a few bucks.
"Statins have been used for a long time and because of that, there are several that have gone generic." Misxon said.
But according to Walgreens, even the generic brands could run you $54 for a 30 pills if you're uninsured.
Either way, the next time you have a physical, expect your doctor to discuss why you either should or shouldn't be on a Statin.