High cholesterol affects more than 17 percent of adults in the US and significantly increases you chances of developing heart disease.
In honor of National Cholesterol Education Month, here’s everything you need to know about cholesterol screening:
- Adults age 20 and over should undergo a blood test of their cholesterol levels. Fast for 9-12 hours prior to blood being drawn for the most accurate results.
- Your total cholesterol number is made up of the your LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol), an triglyceride levels.
- Your total cholesterol should ideally be less than 200 mg/dL:
HDL – 60 mg/dL and higher
LDL – 100 mg/dL and lower
Triglycerides – 150 mg/dL and lower
- You may need to have your cholesterol checked more often than every five years if one or more of these situations applies to you:
Your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or more.
You are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 50.
Your HDL (good) cholesterol is less than 40 mg/dL.
You have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.