John O' Hurley's Story
As an actor and TV personality, John O'Hurley has been in the spotlight for more than 30 years. While he is most commonly recognized for his familiar voice and eccentric mannerisms as J. Peterman on the TV sitcom Seinfeld, he also is well-known from Dancing with the Stars, Family Feud, and The Young and the Restless.
Off the set, public health education has been a long-standing priority for John, including collaborations with the American Red Cross Blood Donor Program, the Epilepsy Foundation and co-founding Golfers Against Cancer.
John also has added cholesterol awareness to his list of important public health initiatives, because he is one of 71 million Americans affected by high cholesterol. He knows first-hand the dangers of high cholesterol—and, most importantly, the dangers of not addressing it properly.
Five years ago, when he was first diagnosed, he didn't immediately work on lowering his cholesterol levels. "When I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol, because it is a symptomless condition, I ignored my doctor's concerns. As is often human nature, I said to myself, 'I'll take care of this later.'"
Two years later, John received the same diagnosis—this time from a doctor with whom he had an established, trusting relationship. This strong connection, coupled with the responsibility he had to his family as a husband and now a father, spurred John to take action and "re-shape" his life. In partnership with his doctor, John began proactively discussing his questions and concerns as he found a treatment plan that worked for him.
"I'm fortunate to have had a thorough and in-depth discussion with my doctor about managing my cholesterol. Our open line of communication made a world of difference, and I'm here today to help ensure others have the same opportunity."
John currently controls his cholesterol through diet and exercise. He is now strict about his diet, making several healthier choices such as alternating fish for steak and avoiding other saturated fats. John also is an avid runner and regularly works with his doctor to monitor his cholesterol levels and "knows his numbers."
High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States. Studies show America's control over high cholesterol is improving but remains low, meaning even more people will be faced with the same diagnosis and treatment discussions John had.
Today, John wants to shine the spotlight on the importance of managing cholesterol and preventing heart disease. He has partnered with the National Lipid Association and Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. to share the USAGE survey, the largest known cholesterol survey conducted in the United States.
John hopes that his story will encourage patients diagnosed with high cholesterol to take control of their health while they still can. A popular motivational speaker John travels the country inspiring others to realize and take advantage of life-changing moments. "It took me awhile to take my own medicine—heeding my own advice and taking my high cholesterol seriously. Managing cholesterol levels before problems start is within everyone's grasp to control. But sometimes we all need motivation and support. I want to encourage and empower the millions of Americans just like me to work with their doctor to manage their cholesterol levels. Don't wait until it's a more serious situation to have this life-changing moment."