National Cholesterol Month

09/13/2016 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

September is National Cholesterol Month, a time to spread awareness on cholesterol health. It is important to understand what cholesterol is, when it is appropriate to get a health screening and ways to prevent high cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that your body needs, but too much of it can be a bad thing. High levels of cholesterol can cause blockages in the lining of your arteries making you more susceptible to having a stroke, heart attack and even heart disease. 

According to the National Cholesterol Education Program it is recommended that adults 20 years and older get their cholesterol checked every 5 years. Cholesterol levels can easily be checked by your doctor performing a simple blood test. 

However, you may need to have your cholesterol checked more often if any of the following statements applies to you:

·         Your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher.

·         You are a man older than age 45 or a woman older than age 50.

·         Your HDL cholesterol is lower than 40 mg/dL.

·         You have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke

Ways to prevent high cholesterol include:

·         Eating a healthy diet. Avoid meals that are high in saturated and trans fats, which tend to raise cholesterol levels.

·         Exercise daily.Physical activity can help lower cholesterol.

·         Maintaining a healthy weight. Losing weight can help to lower your cholesterol levels.

·         Not smoking.

Be sure to follow the instructions of your physician and stay on your medications.

 

 

Sources

  1. CDC. Vital signs: prevalence, treatment, and control of high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol—United States, 1999–2002 and 2005–2008. MMWR. 2011;60(4):109–14.
  2. The American Heart Association. How to Get Your Cholesterol Tested Website.
  3. The American Heart Association. Life's Simple 7 Website.
  4. CDC. Prevalence of cholesterol screening and high blood cholesterol among adults—United States, 2005, 2007, and 2009. MMWR. 2012;61(35):697–702.

 

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