September is Cholesterol Education Month and no matter how healthy you may appear, it is important for everyone to know the facts about high cholesterol. According to the CDC, over 102 million adults in America have cholesterol levels over 200 mg/dL, which is above what is considered healthy. Those who carry high levels of cholesterol in the blood are twice as likely to develop heart disease compared to those who maintain ideal levels.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that produces naturally in the body as well as some foods. An excess of cholesterol in the body will deposit itself in the arteries and narrow the supply of blood in the body, which can lead to heart disease or stroke.
High cholesterol does not typically carry physical symptoms, which make it difficult for people detect on their own. Your physician can detect high levels of cholesterol through a simple blood draw taken during your yearly physical. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every 5 years.
Testing for cholesterol, also known as a lipoprotein profile, is measured in four categories: total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol), HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol), and triglycerides.
Cholesterol levels can vary based on race, ethnicity, sex and age. To learn more about cholesterol and how to prevent high cholesterol, please visit the CDC website and book an appointment with your MetroIPC provider to discuss any questions you may have and routine testing you may need.