Back in November 2013, the American Heart Association issued new cholesterol guidelines that immediately created confusion and controversy for both patients and physicians. The committee reviewed many randomized controlled clinical trials that lead to the development of a risk calculator. Factors such as sex, age, race, total cholesterol, HDL ("good cholesterol"), systolic blood pressure, treatment for elevated blood pressure, diabetes and smoking are used to generate a 10 year risk number. If that number is greater than 7.5%, then the use of a statin is recommended. This is regardless of the level of your LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"). In the past, target levels of total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol were the major parameters used. The committee also announced that life style modification is the first line of treatment but also stated that no other drugs, supplements or vitamins should be used, just a statin.