Regis and Joy Philbin discuss heart health and new partnership and campaign

Hollywood To You/Star Max/Getty Images
Hollywood To You/Star Max/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Television legend Regis Philbin has been open about his health battles over the past two decades, having undergone an angioplasty in 1993 and triple bypass surgery in 2007.

He is not only continuing to share his stories after having retired from ABC’s “Live! with Regis and Kelly” in 2011, but is speaking out about a heart health issue that is important to him.

Philbin is partnering with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America and the Academy of Family Physicians Foundation in a new campaign called “Take Cholesterol To Heart,” encouraging people to speak openly about their cholesterol with their doctor and find the statin that works for them, if needed.

He shares his story on the web page http://www.takecholesteroltoheart.com/.

Regis, 86, and his wife Joy Philbin spoke to ABC News about the campaign and outlined a few ways they are keeping healthy today, and how Joy is helping Regis maintain his good health.

Regis was first prescribed a statin following an incident in Florida in 1992, during which he was feeling chest pains on a cruise ship. That led to his eventual angioplasty, and later on he was prescribed a statin.

His doctors eventually told him his cholesterol, which Regis claims exceeded 300, needed to be lowered.

Joy talked about his first time taking the lipid-lowering medication, which she says was a challenge. Regis was experiencing muscle soreness with the prescribed statin, and generally had side effects that kept him from being able to continue taking the specific statin. So he switched and found a statin that works for him, and he takes it daily to this day.

After Regis’ first surgery, he kept in close contact with his doctor, asking him about what prescription would work best for him, and the steps he can take in his daily life to make sure a high cholesterol level does not reoccur. Now, Joy claims, Regis visits the doctor every two months.

Another key to Regis’ strong health: keeping a close watch on his diet.

While Regis is an avid meat eater and enjoys an occasional ice cream, Joy says her husband eats a lot of fish and has made dietary changes that have helped him keep a healthy cholesterol level for his body. She also says while she cannot track everything he is eating, she helps him stay on track and keeps a close eye on his diet.

In fact, Joy revealed to ABC News that Regis’ cholesterol level is lower than hers, to which he jokingly asked her, “Why am I still with you!”

Regis shares his personal story and offers facts and tips about statin and cholesterol levels at http://www.takecholesteroltoheart.com/.

For more on cholesterol news from ABC News, follow the link here.

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