The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) conducted a primary research study designed to investigate attitudes among Black consumers regarding their use of dietary and/or herbal supplements as a treatment for cholesterol in place of statins. Black U.S. residents, diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia who are using dietary and/or herbal supplements – with our without statin therapy – were the entry criteria for this study.
In the United States, high cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease, remains critical. While trends have shown an increase in treatment, and control of high cholesterol; racial and ethnic disparities persist, particularly among African Americans.
A majority of respondents (57%) report using dietary and/or herbal supplements instead of prescription medication. There was no difference by gender; however this differed by age significantly. Younger respondents (30-45 years old) are significantly more likely to take supplements instead of statins while older respondents (46-70 years old) are significantly more likely to take supplements in addition to statins. Furthermore, survey respondents believe that dietary/herbal supplements are equally (21%) or more effective (57%) than prescription statin medication for cholesterol health, study results indicate.
“These results confirm that there is a significant need for education and opportunity for improvement in lipid management in African Americans” according to Karol E. Watson, MD, PhD, FACC, Professor of Medicine/Cardiology, Co-director, UCLA Program in Preventive Cardiology, Director, UCLA Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Health Program.
Study respondents cited control over one’s health (76%), cost of medication (62%), and perceived health benefits (67%) as the most significant contributors for taking dietary and/or herbal supplement.
Dr. Watson will present the research results during the “Cardiology Update 2016: Management of Heart Failure in Primary Care” symposium at the 114th National Medical Association’s annual convention and scientific assembly.
This study was supported, in part, by AstraZeneca.