National Cholesterol Awareness Month

Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2022, 7:58pm in:

Did you know?

High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.

People with high cholesterol are twice as likely to have heart disease than people with lower cholesterol levels.

73.5 million American adults (31.7%) have high low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.

But fewer than 1 out of every 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol has the condition under control.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in your blood. Your body, specifically your liver, makes all the cholesterol you need. The rest comes from what you eat, namely foods high in saturated and trans fat, such as meat, poultry, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil. Saturated and trans fats cause your liver to make more cholesterol than it normally would. When there is too much in the bloodstream, it builds up in the walls of the arteries and, over time, they become narrower and blood flow to the heart slows down or becomes blocked. A few other things can affect cholesterol levels, too, including:

• Being overweight

• Inactivity

• Being older (cholesterol levels natural rise as we age)

• Relatives with high cholesterol

• Smoking

Everyone can benefit from knowing their cholesterol numbers and doing what they can to prevent or

reduce high cholesterol levels. Uncontrolled cholesterol is a risk factor for heart attacks and stroke. But

high cholesterol has no symptoms, so patients might not know that their cholesterol is too high – unless

it’s measured by a doctor with a blood test.

While some risk factors – such as family history – may be out of our control, there are other ways to

reduce or prevent high cholesterol, such as exercising, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and taking

medication as prescribed. Honor National Cholesterol Education Month by knowing and controlling your cholesterol numbers. Adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels

checked every four to six years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the U.S. More than one million Americans have a heart attack each year and about 500,000 die of heart disease. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, causing heart attack and stroke.

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