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David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
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Learn What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean

September 2, 2015 - Public Relations - Healthy Living

September is National Cholesterol Education Month, a good time to get your blood cholesterol checked and take steps to lower it if it is high. National Cholesterol Education Month is also a good time to learn about lipid profiles and about food and lifestyle choices that help you reach personal cholesterol goals. On this web page you will find some information about cholesterol and a summary of CDC programs that address cholesterol across the country. You will also find a few fact sheets and publications about cholesterol, as well as links to useful consumer and health care provider information on our partner Web sites.You know how it goes with having too much of a good thing: the good thing becomes a bad thing, and you end up living with the consequences.

Too much cholesterol in the blood is one of those bad things. It’s one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke — two leading causes of death in both New Mexico and the United States. One way to prevent these diseases is to detect high cholesterol and treat it when it is found.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 71 million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one-third of them have the condition under control.  That’s a lot of people — so it’s no wonder that September is National Cholesterol Education Month.

Here’s what you need to know: Cholesterol is waxy and fat-like. It doesn’t sound pretty, but the fact is it’s a substance your body needs. Problem is, when you have too much of it in your blood, it builds up on the walls of your arteries and forms blockages, leading to the aforementioned heart disease and stroke.

You may have heard talk about “good” or “bad” cholesterol, and they are for real. They are two separate kinds of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is also called "good" cholesterol. LDL is called "bad" cholesterol. When doctors tell you to watch out for high cholesterol, they’re talking about "bad" LDL cholesterol.

This National Cholesterol Education Month is a good time to not just get informed, but get screened. Screening is the key to detecting high cholesterol, and because high cholesterol does not have symptoms, your cholesterol could be too high and you don’t even know it, but your doctor can order a simple blood test to check your cholesterol level and get you the answers you need.

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every five years, but you may have to have it checked more often if your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher, you’re older than age 45 (for men) or older than age 50 (for women), or you have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

So how do you prevent high cholesterol or treat it once you get it?  The CDC reports it often comes down to these important lifestyle changes:

  • Eating a healthy diet. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats, which tend to raise cholesterol levels. Other types of fats, such as polyunsaturated fats, can actually lower blood cholesterol levels. Eating fiber also can help lower cholesterol.
  • Exercising regularly. Physical activity helps lower cholesterol. The Surgeon General recommends that adults engage in moderate-intensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can raise your cholesterol levels. Losing weight can help lower your cholesterol.
  • Not smoking. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.

For some, that’s a lot to ask for there in just four small bullet points, but making these changes can be the difference between life and death. Talk to your doctor, get tested and know your cholesterol levels. For more information, visit the National Cholesterol Education Month page.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

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