Too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke—two leading causes of death in the United States. One way to prevent these diseases is to detect high cholesterol and treat it when it is found.
What is cholesterol?
Be heart healthyCholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and form blockages. This can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
There are two kinds of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is also called “good” cholesterol. LDL is called “bad” cholesterol. When we talk about high cholesterol, we are talking about “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Seventy-one million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one-third of them have the condition under control.1 September is National Cholesterol Education Month—a good time to resolve to get your cholesterol screened.
The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every 5 years.
The National Cholesterol Education Program provides evidence-based resources and recommendations to health care providers, and new guidelines for cholesterol are in development.
For more information about cholesterol and how you can prevent high cholesterol or keep it in check, Clich here to see “Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC” from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.