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GET CHOLESTEROL CHECKED TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE

Wed August 22, 2012

DUPAGE COUNTY-September is National Cholesterol Education Month and the DuPage County Health Department reminds residents this is a good time to get your blood cholesterol checked and take steps to lower it if it is high.

High blood cholesterol affects over 65 million Americans. It is a serious condition that increases your risk for heart disease and your chance of having a heart attack. The higher your cholesterol level, the greater the risk. You can have high cholesterol and not know it.

Everyone age 20 and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years. See your health provider for his or her recommendation for you.

A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. Here are things you can do something about: 

  • Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level go up. Saturated fat is the main culprit, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level.
  • Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels, as well as raise your HDL (good cholesterol) and lower your triglyceride levels.
  • Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.

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GET CHOLESTEROL CHECKED TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE