High cholesterol is a serious problem in the senior community. The elderly already have less elasticity in their arteries, and when this is combined with high cholesterol, the possibility of a blockage increases dramatically.
New research says that a vaccine may be able to prevent high cholesterol from occurring. This would have a big impact upon the health of senior citizens. These are folk that are more likely to have strokes and heart attacks, and if high cholesterol was eliminated as an issue, these things would drop off in a big fashion. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the United States, and if this type of vaccine were to be developed, there’s a chance that this could drop down in lethality.
The vaccine has been tested on mice in lab studies. At first look, this new vaccine has the potential to be far more effective than statins currently are. These are the drugs that are being widely used now to help reduce the bad kind of cholesterol: LDL. According to current statistics from the CDC, about 73.5 million adults in the United States suffer from high cholesterol. Statins are effective in some people, but not everyone. They also can have nasty side effects, which most people would rather avoid. Whether or not the new vaccine would have similar effects is still unknown.
There are also some big implications when it comes to senior care. Many people need some sort of long term care because of a disability, and a stroke often leads to disability. Sometimes in-home care even becomes necessary as families can really struggle to care for the family members that are no longer able to care for themselves. It can be frustrating, feel very disruptive, and it is overwhelming. As much as you love your mother or father, caring for them and meeting their newly developed set of needs can be too much. Rather than having to choose between quitting your job to help out or sending them off to a nursing home, in-home care can act as a great in between. However, this has a cost associated with it, and if that could be avoided, families could save money for later and get more enjoyment out of their lives. Little things like eating better and exercising can help reduce LDL levels in some people, but not in everyone. Medication will be a fact of life for the foreseeable future when it comes to managing cholesterol levels.
For now, keeping an eye on keeping low levels of bad LDL cholesterol is the best course of action. There are new drugs out there designed to do this that are not statins, such as Evolocumab, which was recently approved by the FDA for prescribing. These drugs are extremely expensive though. A normal dosage for one year can cost $10,000 or more. This is out of the price range of the average person, unfortunately. It’s hoped that this new vaccine will be far cheaper than this, yet achieve the same results or better.
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