Stroke Risk Nearly Halved by Some Combinations of Medications to Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
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The data here gives a fairly good idea of the bounds of the possible and plausible when lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol, putting some numbers to the degree to which stroke risk can be reduced. Strokes occur due to breakage or blockage of blood vessels, and the roots of that lie in (a) the stiffening of blood vessels that breaks the feedback mechanisms determining blood pressure, and (b) the processes of atherosclerosis that produce fatty plaques in blood vessel walls, narrowing and weakening them.

blood pressureblood cholesterolstrokestiffening of blood vesselsatherosclerosisfatty plaques

Blood pressure medications don’t address the roots of the problem, but force a lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of rupture in weakened vessels. Lowered blood cholesterol, such as via statins, or more modern and effective approaches such as PCSK9 inhibition, reduces the pace at which atherosclerosis progresses over time by reducing the amount of damaged cholesterol in the blood stream. Again, it achieves this result not by addressing the root causes of that damage, but through a blanket lowering that happens to include the problem cholesterol molecules that feed the growth of atherosclerotic plaques. Fortunately it appears that we humans don’t need anywhere as much cholesterol as we

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