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Newsletter. Issue 2005-17. August. 20, 2005
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Health & Wellness

Sprinklers In New Homes May Be Mandatory
Broadcast News
Monday, August 15, 2005

A campaign is underway in Ontario to force all new homes to install sprinkler systems. The campaign, launched by a coalition of groups representing fire professionals, consumers and the sprinkler industry, is being led by Toronto's former fire chief.

Alan Speed says installing residential fire sprinkler systems and smoke alarms reduces the risk of death during a fire by 82 per cent. More than 220 North American jurisdictions already have legislation in place making sprinkler systems mandatory. In Vancouver, where the law has been in place for 10 years, there has not been a single accidental fire fatality in a home where there is a sprinkler.

What happens when your cholesterol levels are too high?
Posted By: <>
on Goans Tanzanite Web site
To reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, your doctor will recommend a treatment that will help you get your cholesterol levels back to a healthy level. How is a treatment chosen?

The first step is to determine your risk of heart disease over the next 10 years. Your doctor can use a formula developed from a major heart disease study called the Framingham Study to calculate your risk of heart disease. To do this, the doctor will need to know your age, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and whether you smoke.

Low to moderate risk
If your risk of heart disease in the next 10 years is low (less than 10%) to moderate (10-20%), your doctor will probably recommend that your try non-drug methods to lower your cholesterol first. Non-drug methods include:

  • Eating healthy
  • Quitting smoking
  • Moderating your alcohol intake
  • Maintaining an ideal body weight
  • Increasing physical activity

If these methods don't get your cholesterol down to a healthy level after 3 to 6 months, the doctor will consider adding a cholesterol-lowering medication. Medications are used in combination with non-drug methods, not by themselves.

High risk
If your risk of heart disease in the next 10 years is high (20% or more), your doctor will probably recommend starting a cholesterol-lowering medication right away, in combination with non-drug methods, to lower cholesterol.

If a medication is needed, your doctor will consider a number of factors in order to choose an appropriate medication for you. The doctor will take into account your medical conditions, other medications you are taking, your cholesterol levels, and any medication allergies you may have. You can also play an important part of the decision process - be sure you speak to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have about medication treatment.

What are the risk factors?
While some cholesterol comes from your diet, about 80% of cholesterol is made in the liver. This means that diet and lifestyle are not the only things causing high cholesterol. Genetic factors and your liver function can also affect cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol is an important risk factor for heart disease. Risk factors for heart disease are often separated into things that can be modified and things that can't be modified.
Things that can be modified:

  • High cholesterol

  • High blood pressure

  • Sedentary lifestyle (not enough exercise)

  • Obesity (being overweight)

  • Smoking

  • Consuming too much alcohol (more than two drinks per day for men, and more
  • than one drink per day for women)
  • Stress

  • Diabetes
Things that can't be modified:
  • Age and gender (women older than 55 years and men older than 45 years are at higher risk)
  • Ethnicity (people of African, South Asian, and First Nations descent are at higher risk)
  • Family history (people who have family members who have had strokes or heart attacks before age 65, have or have had angina, or are prone to developing high blood pressure or high cholesterol are at higher risk)

Controlling high cholesterol levels
Why control high cholesterol levels?
Why is it so important to reach your target cholesterol levels? Because it lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke. For every 1% decrease in cholesterol levels, there is a 2% decrease in the risk of heart disease.

Goals of treatment
If you have high cholesterol, the goal of treatment is to reach your target levels for LDL-C and TC:HDL-C ratio. Your targets depend on your level of heart disease risk. Your doctor will calculate your heart disease risk level based on your cholesterol levels, age, gender, blood pressure, whether you smoke or not, and whether you have diabetes or not.

If you know your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, use our target cholesterol levels and heart disease risk calculator to find out your heart disease risk group and cholesterol targets. You can print the results to share with your doctor. Click here for the cholesterol levels and heart disease risk calculator.

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