pill bottleStatins. This is a word you’ve no doubt heard as you’re caring for your aging parents or other loved one. But how much do you know about statins? AARP recently shared an informative quiz about statins, and we’re sharing the highlights with you. Take a look and see how much you know. You may learn something that will help you be a better caregiver for your aging parents.

What do statins do? Do they convert cholesterol from food to waste, soften the arteries, convert bad cholesterol to good cholesterol, or interfere with the liver’s production of bad cholesterol?

Statins interfere with the liver’s production of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

What percentage of Americans 45 and older use statins?

25 Percent of Americans 45 and older are prescribed statins. That’s a lot of people! Certain health professionals feel the drugs are oversubscribed. It’s best to determine their necessity for your aging parents by becoming educated about their use and having an honest conversation with their doctor.

What are possible side effect of statin intake, and one reason some experts express caution about their widespread use?

Statins have been known to contribute to diabetes, liver damage, and loss of muscle mass. All serious considerations when taking a drug.

Some health professionals say that if you haven’t started taking statins by the age of 70 and you don’t have signs of heart disease, you shouldn’t take statins at all? Why is that?

Because if you haven’t developed heart disease by the age of 70, you probably wont.

You can lower levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream by exercising. What will NOT help lower LDL cholesterol?

Taking a baby aspirin every day. Aspirin may contribute to heart health, but it will not lower cholesterol.

Besides heart disease, statins seem to lower peoples incidence of what ailment?

Glaucoma.

We all want the best for our aging parents, and it may seem appealing to simply allow a drug to be prescribed in the hopes that it will bring them better health, but it’s best to carefully examine the risks and benefits and make a truly informed choice for your loved ones.